The layperson’s subject – the works of art, the guy in the park -- is not his; rather it’s the thing that the subject makes us feel, the experience it evokes. So not just the jazzman, but the jazzman chasing notes up and down the scale, jostling the energy in the room, whipping his band into a frenzy. To shoot him stark still would rob the moment of its kinetic force and deny the spirit he has summoned in the space. Perhaps Jack trusts our visual memory to hold onto the more straightforward details – the sharp suit and pointy shoes, the rebellious locks of his Afro, the way he toys with the trumpet valves before actually playing— so he can tease out in image the subtle forces at work in a moment. What does the bliss of sitting with art look like? How do you capture in image the interior experience of contemplation? What colour is the sound of a jazzman in flight?
The band swings, the night is easy. The warmth of the crowd and the room, the energy of the musicians, everything compresses down here to close the gap between us all. It is an experience New York has been offering jazz fans for a century, pressed up against each other in dark spaces for the glory of hearing a performance that will never ever be replicated again to the note. As jazz clubs close around the city and country, this club below street level, with a throwback vibe, is doing its part to keep tradition alive. If you appreciate that history, you appreciate doubly being here, as do I, having a perfect coda to a day moving between art and myself, the world outside and the expanse of my personal interior.