Miles Davis Online Interview w/ Photographer Jamie Parslow

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(Artist Series, Volume 4)

I had an instant reaction to Jamie Parslow’s photography: the work is honest, alluring and immediate.

In my search for Miles Davis art and photography, I found Parslow and with him not only three, marvelous photographs of the jazz legend, but a lovely assortment of photographs taken throughout a long career; presently residing in Norway, Parslow’s work covers many decades, the photographs a reflection of his life from one adventure to another.

In the ‘70s Parslow spent time at Rolling Stone, so no doubt you will find a lot of great concert photos and shots of famous folks. From Hendrix to B.B. King, Jack Nicholson to Janis Joplin it is a collection well worth your time to peruse.

Each of Parslow’s collections, located on his website, are a delight to view, and I recommend highly doing so.

Parslow was kind enough to take a few minutes and chat with me about his work, especially the three, Miles Davis photographs I love so much.

Miles Davis Online: Let’s start with the two, ‘Peepshow’ photos titled ‘Miles Davis, 1969.’ What’s the story?

Jamie Parslow: These two were taken at the Monterey, California Jazz Festival.  I talked my way to a backstage press pass and went from there.

Miles Davis Online: What about the 1970 photo of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis?

Jamie Parslow: I had moved from San Francisco to New York, and with a nice recommendation from [photographer] Jim Marshall, I had met, and was doing some work for Bob Thiele, the Flying Dutchman.

These photos were taken at a combination 70th birthday celebration for Louis, and recording session for the Louis Armstrong and Friends What A Wonderful World album.  Miles was one of many who came to wish Louis a happy birthday.  Quite en event.  But what did Miles say to Louis…?

Miles Davis Online: What was it like to photograph Miles Davis? Were you able to get a good sense of what kind of person he was?

Jamie Parslow: I can´t say I spent time with Miles, but I found him to be very congenial, cordial and patient with me, especially when I had my camera in his face! He never reprimanded me, never complained, on the contrary was very patient, would pause when he knew I was photographing him.  I was in awe.

Miles Davis Online: How would you describe yourself as an artist? Does your work represent a specific ‘style?’

Jamie Parslow: A subjective documentary photographer. It´s a fine line between the personal and the private, a line I try and walk as often as possible.

Miles Davis Online: What will we be expecting to see in your future work?

Jamie Parslow: More personal work.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?

Jamie Parslow: I think I have to go with Bitches Brew. What a crew, what a gathering of some of the finest musicians at that time.  A phenomenal album, innovative, brilliant!

Photographs are © Jamie Parslow

All of Parslow’s photos are for sale; prices available upon request

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