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Vibes. The essence of the moment.
Black and white photographs of the Berlin Jazz Days (60s/70s) by Axel Benzmann
Only a small part of the oeuvre of the Berlin photographer Axel Benzmann (1939-2009) is publicly known so far.
Partnering the European Month of Photography EMOP Berlin 2023, Browse Gallery presents around 100 selected black-and-white photographs of jazz musicians from the 1960s and 1970s, original prints and prints from the Benzmann estate.
From the mid-1960s, Benzmann worked as a freelance photographer for West Berlin newspapers and magazines, photographing mainly the city's (sub)cultural and nightlife scene. In 1968 he documented the student protests in Berlin. From 1967 to the early 1980s, he accompanied the Berlin Jazz Days at the Philharmonie. The exhibition pictures show musicians who shaped and renewed jazz: Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Roberta Flack, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan and others.
The differentiated observations of the musicians and their spontaneous musical expressiveness testify to Axel Benzmann's great photographic skills. His pictures bring us close to the exciting processes of jazz improvisations: Essence of the Moment, captured with an open and turned gaze. Here he adopts a similar perspective as in his documentary photographs of the social and political upheavals of the 1960s - a society groping and at times erratically venturing forward, multi-voiced, contradictory, in new democratic processes. The sound - from the shimmering and throbbing tones of bebop to the classic swing of jazz legends - offers Benzmann the template for a complementary high-contrast black-and-white photography, "while living in the moment, on the moment, through the moment" (John Colton) with musicians who filled or reinvented jazz before his eyes every moment with bursting musical interaction.
Vernissage: March 10, 19:00 - 22:00 clock
Exhibition venue: Zimmmer 48, Zossenerstr. 48, 10961 Berlin
Duration: March 10 - 24, 2023
Opening hours: 14:00 - 20:00 clock
(with Jazz performance Zam's Cool Vibes Trio (Zam Johnson, David Beecroft, Carmelo Leotta),
artist talk Zam Johnson,
documentary film "Last date - Eric Dolphy" and subsequent talk with Hartmut Topf, Wolf Kampmann and Ulf Drechsel)