Sunday, August 15, 2010

R.I.P. Herman Leonard

Shortly before I moved to New Orleans in 2003, I went to see Herman's iconic photographs of Jazz legends ... Herman saw them all, photographed them all and was friends with many, and for good reason. Herman himself was an improvisation master-

When I found my own pink shotgun in mid city, I e-mailed him to tell him how much his images moved me. I knew he'd heard this countless times so i made sure to involve exactly how, personally, they moved me while keeping succinct. He was exceedingly kind and generous. At the time i was a mixed media painter and sent him an asian inspired bird collage for his birthday.. he was moved by this and kindly invited me over. He gave great advice when I got pregnant with my first and only child, making sure to convey the importance of keeping mobile and fit. He had a warmth and a presence that made you feel lucky to stand in his general breathing space. He was close to Miles Davis and Tony Bennet.... That says something also.

Anyway... It's hot as hell ( Texas) I've been up since the crack of dawn. I have 101 things to take care of before the sun goes down. At the top of my list now, after hearing the sad news of his passing, is to be dazzled once more by the width and depth of his career. It would seem he never had to steal a moment ( as the hackneyed expression goes) . Go look for yourself. They happily gave themselves to Herman. He was one of them.

Good Journey. Thank you Herman.