I have long known and admired the tremendous photographic output of David Bailey, on of the ‘enfent terrible’ of English photography but I had not appreciated his stature at a very early age.
I have just watched the classic film by Bert Stern “Jazz on a Summers Day” which is a film about the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. As a jazz fan the film showed me so many of the icons of jazz that I have spent my whole adult life listening to . So what has this to do with David Bailey? Well, for some reason or other best known to Bert Stern Bailey is credited on the starting credits along with the great jazz stars. I therefore kept an eye out for him during the film expecting to see him in action or for there to be an interview with him, but I was disappointed. there was a clip lasting for less than 10 seconds of him in silhouette with two Leicas photographing the band on the stage. There are plenty of other photographers doing very similar things throughout the film, so why did Bert Stern single out Bailey so boldly on the credits. I cannot help but assume he recognised in this 20 year old ‘foreign’ (to him!) photographer a talent that the world would recognise years later.