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Monday, July 23, 2012




As noted in the previous post covering Calliope CAL 3019 we are continuing our presentation of an interview that Will Thornbury conducted with Ray Avery regarding Ray’s background in photography.


               RAY AVERY                                                            WILL THORNBURY

WT: Do you remember the rhythm section on that "Stars of Jazz" with Billie Holiday?

RA: According to my pictures its Corky Hale on piano, I can't remember if Pete Jolly accompanied her or whether it was just piano bass and drums and I don't remember who they were.  I know Pete Jolly was on that same show and I didn't see him playing with her but it's possible.

WT: When did you first hear about and figure you would be involved in "Stars of Jazz"?

RA: I missed the first one or two shows and then someone, I don't know a friend, said have you seen the new TV show "Stars of Jazz" and I said I hadn't and so I checked in the newspaper and found out when it was going to be on and so I just went down I think the 2nd or 3rd show and asked them if I could photograph it.  They were very friendly and said yes of course, Just be careful and don't walk in front of any cameras or fall over any cords. From then on they encouraged us to come and there were usually 2 or 3 photographers there every evening, sometimes there was Bill Claxton, sometimes when he was busy he wouldn't be there and someone else would and I missed quite a few of them just because of pressures of work or family so..

WT: Who else was shooting?

RA: You know the other fellows, I've seen their names in the script, and there are fellows that I've lost track of and don't think they continued in photography so the names are not familiar to me.

WT; So, essentially the two foremost names were you and Bill?

RA: Yes, I say modestly.

WT: Gee, I get to tell you how wonderful you are. You said something really wonderful about, I mean you were a basically I suppose the most self demeaning intelligent man I know.  It's something everybody loves about you of course, but you said something really interesting about not being able to get close to musicians because you were too shy, I'm putting the words in your mouth, but I'd like you to give me a little bit about that.

RA: I really think that was the reason, now most photographers they'll go up an introduce themselves and talk and I just was unable to do that for some reason or other and I wished I'd been able to do that, I'd wish I'd taken the pictures, got to know them but really I got to know them thru the record store more than I did thru my photography.  Also, I would get so intense in taking pictures that sometimes I wouldn't even hear the music or how good it was, I was just watching to see what they were going to do so, but it was mostly shyness I believe.

WT: Is there a separation in that, the amount of concentration if requires?

RA: when I'm really taking pictures I'm not hearing the music very well,  quite often someone will ask me, did you hear that or what was that, I'd say, Oh, I'm sorry I was watching the musicians and I didn't really hear the music. I'm sure that's not true with everybody, but it does happen to me.

WT:  It's such an intuitive process that it's difficult to answer this question, I suppose, but how do you operate, do you look for things, is it all just see do or is there any design towards this?

RA: Mostly I look for expression. I tried to get away from just the horn playing shots where the horn is in their mouth but often if they turned towards one of the members of the band or look at someone in the audience and sometimes you get a marvelous expression that tells you more about the musician than actually seeing him play because most musicians look pretty much alike when their playing, so that's in concerts, then in a recording session there are more chances to get musicians acting naturally because their sitting waiting for takes and waiting for playbacks and visiting and that sort of thing, so you do get more of a variety.  But in a concert they all have their sort of concert faces on and they’re busy and concentrating, so I get some of the better things in a most relaxed situation.

Calliope Records Production Credits:
Executive Producers: Heyward Collins, Rick Donovan, Lee D. Weisel
Production and Coordination: Jim Pewter
Technical Assistance: Mike Jordan for Krishane Enterprises
Mastering: Jack Skinner for Keyser-Century Corporation
Art Direction and Photography: Jeffrey Weisel

Show # 100
JUNE 2, 1958
The Shorty Rogers Big Band: Shorty Rogers, trumpet, fluegel horn; Al Porcino, Don Fagerquist, Ray Triscari, Ed Leddy, Buddy Childers, trumpet; Frank Rosolino, Harry Betts, Ken Schroyer, trombone; Bob Enevoldsen, v-trb; George Roberts, bass trombone; Richie Kamuca, Herb Geller, Bill Holman, Bill Perkins, Bill Hood, reeds; Pete Jolly, piano; Red Mitchell, acoustic double bass; Mel Lewis, drums.  June Christy, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Executive Producer: Peter Robinson
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Bob Buck
Cameramen: Sal Folino, Jack Denton, Bob Haley
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: Noble Moore

SHOW #121
OCTOBER 27, 1958
The Jimmy Giuffre Trio: Bob Brookmeyer, v-trb; Jimmy Giuffre, clarinet, tenor sax; Jim Hall, guitar. Irene Kral, vocal, Walter Norris, piano; Bob Neel, Drums, Buddy Clark, bass.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Executive Producer: Peter Robinson
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bob Arbogast
Director: Leo G. “Hap” Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Bob Haley, Bob Greensteff, Ernie Buttleman
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: Don Seeks


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