About the US photographer, William CLAXTON (1927-2008)William CLAXTON made jazz more popular with his impressive photographic portraits of jazz musicians. Already as a psychology student at UCLA in Los Angeles, he was on the road with his camera in jazz clubs. In 1952, at 'The Haig' in L.A., he met Richard Bock while recording the Gerry Mulligan Quartet for his newly founded Pacific Jazz label and was hired by them as a photographer for the label's album covers. It was these photographs that made him famous. Especially the portraits of the young Chet Baker later had a style-defining effect. William CLAXTON also worked as a fashion photographer and in the 1960s was the preferred photographer of Steve McQueen, whom he had met during filming in 1962. In 1959/1960, he traveled the U.S. with Joachim-Ernst Berendt to photograph jazz musicians and street scenes in New Orleans, Kansas City, New York, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other places, resulting in the illustrated book 'Jazzlife'; published at the time in an edition of nearly 2 million copies, it is now a coveted collector's item.
His photographs also appeared in magazines such as Life, Paris Match and Vogue. William CLAXTON died of heart failure in an L.A. hospital just before his 81st birthday.