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October 09, 2009


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Denis Ouellet

Beautiful interview. From my earliest days when I started reading about jazz,I came upon beautiful pictures which just evoked so many emotions in me. Mr. Leonard's pictures are truly masterpieces. That one at the Royal Roost with Bird, Miles,Kai and Allen has always been one of my favorites. It is as if I am sitting right there in the
first row and listening to them.

Finally I can thank you.


John Herr

A framed poster-sized print of the Ella Fitzgerald photo hangs in my living room. Any jazz fan can identify Ellington sitting at the front table & behind him Benny Goodman, but I only learned from a recent interview with Herman Leonard the identity of the distinguished-looking gentleman on right. He was a prominent figure in popular American music at midcentury, & many of his tunes were used as vehicles for jazz improvisation. He is Richard Rodgers.

herman leonard

The identity of the gentleman on the right in the Ella Fitzgerald photo is questionable. If you check out photos of Mr. Rodgers
in 1948 when this was taken, he appeared to be in his 40's. In fact he was 46, born in 1902. The gentleman on the right is certainly over 50. He was identified recently as a music producer by his daughter. Sorry, the name escapes me. I must confess that I did
identify him as Richard Rodgers on a small number of my prints sold to collectors.

Geraldine Baum

Hello, Herman Leonard's manager here. The person in this photograph has been identified as Jack Robbins, a music publisher. Also in the image, behind Duke to his left, is clarinetist Stan Hasselgard.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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