Jazz in Focus: The Photos of Arthur Elgort

Known for his photographs of models in glossy magazines, the photographer reveals another passion in his new book, Jazz

Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry
Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry, 1988 (photo: Arthur Elgort)

Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry, 1988
“This was on the S.S. Norway, and it was the last time Dexter ever played [in public]. Clark Terry was smart. Every time he’d asked Dexter to play, Dexter would say, ‘Aw, I don’t feel like it.’ So one night Clark went to Dexter’s room after dinner and got his saxophone, and he said, ‘You’re not gonna leave this room until you play with me. You’re gonna play whether you like it or not.’ Dexter was afraid, but he did it right away, and he played beautifully. I got that on film too, a short film called Dexter on Vacation. I wanted to make it longer, but his wife [Maxine] wouldn’t agree. She said that he was going to come back stronger, and that we could do more filming the next time. The next time I saw him was at his funeral.”

Originally Published
Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.