The Wall Street Journal reviews Hot Summer, Cool Jazz

A soundtrack for the Herman Leonard exhibition at Mann would have to feature "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," not only because so many of the musicians pictured performed and recorded the song, but because smoke is an important element in many of the images. Fats Navarro and Frank Sinatra are both holding cigarettes as they perform. Smoke curls up in front of the saxophones of Gerry Mulligan and Sonny Stitt.

Smoke is also critical in "Lester 'Prez' Young, NYC" (1948); the saxophonist himself is not in the picture, but is instead represented by the pork pie hat with which he was synonymous. The hat hangs on the opened cover of his sax case; next to it is an empty Coke bottle with a lit cigarette balanced on its rim. The lighting on the hat emphasizes its regular oval shape, which contrasts with the irregular curling of the cigarette smoke. The picture is simultaneously simple and complex, not unlike Young's playing.

Herman Leonard (1923-2010) opened a studio in Greenwich Village in 1949, when it was a center of live jazz, and he made a specialty of photographing jazz musicians. All the players included in this show are of continuing interest: Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Ray Brown, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington and more. A young Sarah Vaughan radiates melody as she sings at Birdland in 1949, and see Duke Ellington's enraptured smile as he listens to Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat Club in 1948.

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