Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Was I Thinking? A Great Day In Harlem 1958

from 12/25/07. This comes by way of Knickerbocker Village .

A previous post here about this movie is missing the youtube removed clip
Now what was I doing in the summer of 1958? Probably playing a lot of punch ball in Tanahey Park, when I could have been a kid sitting on a curb in front of this collection of all time great musicians. Harlem was probably thought of as a foreign country to those on the LES

A Great Day in Harlem or Harlem 1958 is a 1958 black and white group portrait of 57 jazz musicians photographed on a Harlem street.
Art Kane, a freelance photographer working for Esquire magazine, took the picture at around 10 a.m. in the summer of 1958. The musicians had gathered on 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Harlem, New York City.
Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. Jean Bach, a radio producer of New York, recounted the story behind it in her 1994 documentary film, A Great Day in Harlem. The film was nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

The photo was also a key object in Steven Spielberg's film, The Terminal. The film starred Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, who came to the United States in search of Benny Golson's autograph to complete his father's collection of autographs by the jazz musicians pictured in the classic 1958 photo.

When I was working in Harlem the last few years I went back to locate the spot to see what it looks like now. It's at 17 East 126th Street.


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