Photographer Jaap van de Klomp takes us on quite a trip. He has criss-crossed the US and also made significant stops in Europe to photograph the graves of legendary jazz musicians.
What do these images, which artfully but simply show us the size, position, texture and immediate surroundings of each stone or monument, reveal about the artists resting beneath them? The answer varies widely and often tells us more about the relatives or friends who chose them than of the subjects, who after all mostly had no say in the matter. As you will see, the graves fall into categories. Those most alike in design are the ones located in military cemeteries, and there are quite a few of those. There are sturdy and simply designed graves. It is a pleasure to see Duke Ellington's simple but elegant stone or Ben Webster's beautiful natural rock, with just his name and dates.
Of course, the graves of the far too many great jazz folk who died too young are touching. The sad ones are the overgrown and neglected and even marker-less graves, like those of Bud Powell, Serge Chaloff and Grant Green.
Jazz lives is a unique photo book. Through the photographs and the biographies of Scott Yanow, jazz critic and journalist, it tells the story of the life and death of the greatest jazz musicians the world has ever known.