Photo Story: Earl Hines by Dennis Stock

As part of Milk Made’s "Photo Story" series, Michael Shulman, a good friend of the late Dennis Stock, describes in detail the story and emotions that come to life behind this photo taken of Earl Hines in 1958.

"Some pictures are worth 1,000 words, but this photo of Earl Hines by Dennis Stock is worth 1,000 screams. You can smell the cigarette smoke, feel the heat and sweat, and marvel at Earl Hines in flight, captured at a shutter click of pure bliss. You can see and hear life itself, at that moment of ecstasy, and the lone visible audience member knows, he knows that we know, asking “Can you dig it?”. The other musicians are concentrating on the groove, cool and intent on anchoring the sound, needing to keep it together allowing Earl to fly free.

The arc of the rhythm section lead up, up, up, to the trumpeter, to Earl’s microphone and the trombone lean down, down, down to the bandleader, hollering to heaven., smoke and light hover above his head like the holy spirit. (E)motion is on the bandstand tonight!

This photo, from Dennis’s wonderful Jazz Street book, is like jazz itself, improvised, reacting to the moment, and swinging!" – Michael Shulman

"Dennis Stock Photographs" is on display at Milk Gallery April 2 – 17, 2013. Join us for the opening reception on April 2nd – RSVP details here.

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