His new book of 150 jazz portraits bypasses easy listening for the likes of King Oliver, Radu Malfatti, Otomo Yoshihide and Martin Küchen
In his new French language book Jazz En 150 Figures, Guillaume Belhomme’s anthology of portraits establishes his own pantheon of jazz greats ranging from Art Tatum, Lee Morgan, Archie Shepp and Ella Fitzgerald to Radu Malfatti, Otomo Yoshihide, Irene Schweizer and Mats Gustafsson. “This is quite a challenge for french readers fond of jazz, as they won't find anything here about Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, etc, but may discover musicians they didn't know yet,” declares Belhomme, who writes about jazz on his website Le Son Du Grisli and for magazines such as Jazz Hot, Les Inrockuptibles and Mouvement.
“Like I say in the foreword,” he continues, “I've met David Murray a few years ago, who told me: ‘I'm fed up to hear people using ‘jazz’ to talk about music that is only easy listening’.” Each individual portrait also contains five short reviews of the artist’s recordings, among the book’s vast selection of photography and sleeve art.
Guillaume Belhomme is the founder of Les Editions Lenka Lente, which specialises in book and disc editions twinning music and writing. Lenka Lente editions have covered Nurse With Wound and Franz Kafka, Morton Feldman, Martin Küchen, and more.
Jazz En 150 Figures is published by Editions du Layeur