This image of Buddy Rich by Paul Slaughter is a personal favorite of mine. I think it's one of the most dynamic and revealing photos of the drummer. For a brief second, you get to see Rich's intensity, anxiety and aggression in one fleeting glance (or glare).
Let Paul pick up the story:
"On September 20, 1970, I was covering the Monterey Jazz Festival for several magazines. Back in those days, the concert’s promoters gave the professional photographers covering the event plenty of freedom. We could stand pretty much where we wanted to capture images of the musicians.
"Since there were only few of us photographing the weekend’s concerts, we were allowed to hang out backstage for extensive periods. The area gave us an opportunity to capture unusual, candid images of the artists.
"The photo of Buddy Rich here was taken before an evening concert by his big band. As you can see, the image was captured quickly. I was just about to leave the backstage press area when Buddy suddenly arrived. It looks like he’s racing through, but he wasn’t. Buddy was just walking briskly. Startled, I had just a few seconds to point and focus. When Buddy saw my camera, he stopped for a split second. That’s when I took the image. Then he continued on his way.
"Buddy wasn’t angry nor did he take a swing at me, as the picture may suggest. He also didn’t have an entourage with him, as I recall. He simply came in alone, stopped, and moved on. Then he went out and played a concert that knocked everyone’s socks off."
All photos by Paul Slaughter ©Paul Slaughter—all rights reserved. Photos used with the artist's permission.
More JazzWax Photostories: PhotoStory is a JazzWax feature that celebrates dynamic jazz photographs and the photographers who took them. For a complete list of the posts in this series, go to the right-hand column of JazzWax and scroll down to "PhotoStory."