Interview: Herman Leonard - JazzWax

« Bill Perkins: On Stage | Main | Interview: Leon Ware (Part 1) »

October 09, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

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.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
Marc Myers2 2021 (c)by Alyse Myers

Contact me


Click the covers to order...

Subscribe Free

Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Search JazzWax

  • JazzWax

JazzWax Interviewed

JazzWax Interviews

Audio Note

  • Audio clips that appear below JazzWax posts support editorial content that links readers directly to Amazon and other third-party music retailers.

Marc Myers: Liner Notes


Marc Myers on Video

JATP Programs