Reviews

William P. Gottlieb has been called the “Dean of Jazz Photography.”  His work has been acclaimed by a wide array of jazz notables such as Ken Burns, Wynton Marsalis, and Jim Cullum and publications including the The New York Times, Modern Photography, and The New Yorker.  Read what they have said about Gottlieb’s work and legacy.


"[William Gottlieb] was more successful in his approach than any photographer has been, bringing to bear the personal connections -- his relationship with the subject's own personality."
Jon Newsom
Director of the Music Division, Library of Congress

"The images, the way that [Bill] presented jazz has a lot to do with the general public perception as to what jazz is. The coolness of it, the hipness of it, the mystery..."
Jason Koransky
Editor, Downbeat

"[Bill] loved the taking of the pictures. He loved getting it right and getting the proper feeling out of the pictures. That is his great contribution to the history of jazz. The history of jazz is contained in those pictures."
Ahmet Ertegun
Founder of Atlantic Records

"[William Gottlieb] can communicate the meaning of a moment in an image. Only the greatest photographers have that ability... You feel like you were there."
Wynton Marsalis
Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

"The fact that Bill's photographs exist, allows [the musicians] to remain icons in the 21st century."
Phil Schapp
Curator, Jazz at Lincoln Center

"Who is Billie Holiday? Look at Bill's shots.
Who is Charlie Parker? Look at Bill's shots."
Jason Koransky
Editor, Downbeat

"The great photographers of jazz are those who catch ...emotion. It's that tension of emotion and beat that is caught in Gottlieb's photography."
Leonard Garment
Chairman, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

"What strikes me most is [Gottlieb's] love of the music...and trying to capture the personality [of the musician]. It comes out in every photograph--this sense of trying to capture a real person making music."
Tom Chapin
Musician

"Not only did [Bill] have an eye but he also really had the respect and confidence of the performers who never felt ... he was intruding."
Dan Morgenstern
Director, Rutgers Institute of Jazz

"[Bill Gottlieb] knew these people. He had talked to them and he knew what their personalities were. He knew who all of them were."
Jason Koransky
Editor, Downbeat

"You can hear the music through Bill's photos."
Jason Koransky
Editor, Downbeat

"The thing I love about Bill's photographs is that he's not afraid of the musicians. He embraced the musicians as human beings. So he brings them out with a certain confidence. This is a time where images of African Americans were all minstrel show. The jazz photographer was the exact opposite. He is always projecting the people with confidence and with the magisterial quality that they had."
Wynton Marsalis
Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

"The [Gottlieb] photographs stand as a testament to the soul of the music in the soul of time."
Wynton Marsalis
Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

"Whether he intended to or not... [Bill] became a historian."
Leonard DeLessio
Professor of Photography, School of Visual Arts

"We are so lucky that there was ... a Bill Gottlieb there at that time to document. You've got to remember that there were no headlines in the paper in those days saying this is the 'golden era of jazz' and it's going to be gone someday."
Loren Schoenberg
Executive Director, The National Jazz Museum at Harlem

"[Bill] is a very special kind of person with a very special legacy. We're very lucky he preserved all these things."
Dan Morgenstern
Director, Rutgers Institute of Jazz

"[Gottlieb's] shots go beyond what a hardcore jazz fan would appreciate."
Jason Koransky
Editor, Downbeat

"Bill Gottlieb's photographs are a part of the cinema of jazz."
Leonard Garment
Chairman, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Although he hasn't photographed jazz musicians in more than 50 years, Bill Gottlieb, in Modern Photography, was labeled "The Great Jazz Photographer."

The New York Times credits Bill with "the flair of a high artist."

"Gottlieb stopped photographing jazz musicians in 1948. No one has surpassed him yet."
Whitney Balliett
The New Yorker

"It was to be William P. Gottlieb who would capture with his own instrument, the camera, the soul of this jazz, its voices, its prophets, its players, Bill who would become the chronicler of the Golden Age."
Eve's Magazine

"Bill Gottlieb is ranks as one of the most important jazz photographers in the world. The breadth, depth and quality of Bill's body of work is outstanding."
Jeff Sedlik
Jazz photographer

"Not only was [Gottlieb] in the right place at the right time, but he is an incredible talent, and that combination resulted in the most important jazz images existing today. "
Jeff Sedlik
Jazz photographer

"William Gottlieb stands as a key figure in Jazz history. His passion for his art and for jazz drove him to a high degree of excellence. In the process he captured the essence of the times and magnificent images of the musicians who made the music."
Jim Cullum
Jim Cullum Jazz Band

"William Gottlieb stands as a key figure in Jazz history..."
Jim Cullum
Jim Cullum Jazz Band

"Jazz music itself is immortal: with these wonderful photographs, the remarkable human beings who made that music are, too. That's Bill Gottlieb's art."
Ken Burns
Epic Documentarian, Filmmaker, and Historian

"William Gottlieb's dynamic images are an invaluable record of jazz..."
Ann M. Shumard
Curator of Photographs
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

"William Gottlieb's photos are some of the most famous jazz photos of all time, ones which set the standard for jazz photography."
Jim Wilke
Host of Jazz After Hours, PRI

"In nightclubs and concert halls, William Gottlieb captured the most intimate moments of America's indigenous music."
W. Royal Stokes
Civilization magazine

"You can almost feel the pop and the heat of the flashbulbs in each [Gottlieb] image."
David Was
NPR's Day to Day

"[Gottlieb's] black and white images of the jazz life are without parallel..."
David Was
NPR's Day to Day

"[Bill] will be best remembered as the sharp-eyed witness to one of the most creative musical decades in American history."
David Was
NPR's Day to Day

"Some of Gottlieb's images are as famous as the musicians themselves."
David Was
NPR's Day to Day

"Anyone who has ever attempted to depict the essence of someone's personality on film knows how difficult it can be, but Gottlieb managed to do so, gloriously, more than a few times."
W. Patrick Hinely
Jazz Journalists Association

"[Gottlieb's images] are indeed national treasures."
W. Patrick Hinely
Jazz Journalists Association

"Gottlieb was not taking pictures; he was photographing a music."
Whitney Balliett
The New Yorker