Bobby Wellins | Saxophonist | 1936 - 2016
Photography & Text By Derek Clark
The jazz world lost another great musician last week. Tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins passed away at the age of 80. I had the chance to photograph Bobby on the 23rd of May 2013 during the recording of the Culloden Moor Suite CD with The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. These are the pictures I shot that day for the inside of the gatefold CD. We talked saxophones while he waited for the next take. Bobby found it interesting that I play sax and photograph musicians. It was a privilege to speak to him and an honour to stand a few feat away while he recorded the sax parts.
There's been a couple of times during the three years of shooting this jazz project (I don't even think I can call it a project anymore. It's just what I do) that I have questioned my motivation. Am I done? Have I got to the point where I'm shooting pictures I've already shot? Is this important in Scotland? After all this isn't New York or Paris during the jazz heyday. But I stick with it because I always come back with at least a few pictures that I'm proud of and that I would happily hang on a wall. I get to meet and photograph jazz legends from the UK and abroad, people that have been part of my Record/CD collection for years. But above all else, I get to shoot pictures for a few hours while listening to some of the most beautiful music I've had the pleasure of hearing. There hasn't been a gig went past that I haven't just stopped taking pictures and closed my eyes to hear the music. I mean REALLY hear the music.
It's so easy to get lost in the technical side of things while we're photographing whatever is in front of our lens, the aperture, the shutter speed...etc. But we need to set it and let it be sometimes. We need to take in the moment and witness it not just as photographers, but as human beings. Time is linear. It's here, it's gone and it will never be repeated. This could be the last day for any one of us, young or old. Live it like it was!
Tommy (Smith) put together a montage of my pictures from that day and set it to one of Bobby's tunes (below). I watched it in my car and realised, beyond all doubt, that the pictures I capture of this great music we call Jazz, are important!
Text and photographs by Charlene Winfred
At sunrise, the only beginning is the blear of eyes from an all nighter.
This is the city that never sleeps.
Here is where it's all possible: the rise and fall of fortunes, where night is the real day, and day is little more than a prelude to the opportunity of neon infused fortune.
This is the city that never wakes.
Where each step through the passage of time is a slip of cotton stamped with a grave man's countenance.
Time, money. Money, time.
If you have enough of one, you think you can buy the other.
In this city, more than most others, that which glitters looks a lot like gold.
By Kevin Mullins
This month, we are looking, in the loosest sense at the passing of time.
I've spent a lot of time recently in London, which is around two hours from my home. I live in a medieval village, in a 300 year old cottage.
Whenever I go to London I'm struck by the change that is happening, constantly, to the city.
These images haven't been shot consciously for this month's assignment. Rather, they are a collection of snapshots that I felt helped me visually tell some kind of story about the passing of time that seems to be happening in London.
Wherever you go, you will see modern architecture squeezed in next to buildings of some kind of historic interest.
It offers a visual juxtaposition that is everywhere, when we open our eyes to it.
Time passes, that can't be helped, but I hope, given time, the historic elements of our great cities are allowed to remain, and breathe, in a cluttered architectural world.
We live in interesting times of great contrast. Light versus dark. In the grand scheme of things, it will all be over in a blink of an eye. Right here, right now, it is easy to feel like Frodo.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
By Patrick La Roque
—Highway 40, heading towards Trois-Rivières—I last visited ten years ago, when my uncle passed away. Jacob wasn't even three at the time and Cynthia had stayed home with her mom—she was due to give birth any day now and we were in total standby mode. I was clutching my phone, ready to bolt at the earliest warning sign.—Exit to road 131, Notre-Dame-Des-Prairies—But my previous and most vivid memory is of my dad at the wheel. I'm sitting next to him, my sister and mother in the backseat. I had a tendency to get car sick you see, and would always sit in front, propped up on a pillow so I could watch the road ahead. It helped, apparently.—Notre-Dame-De-Lourdes...my sister is on the phone, she's lost—We have a car full of kids and I'm the dad now. Same direction, same litany of saintly villages nestled between barren november fields. Every stop a memory, every street light and every sign like a bolt of lightning.—Kiri, St-Félix-De-Valois—Kiri made soft drinks, a local brand my grandparents used to get delivered directly to their house. The building is on the very same corner but I can't tell if it's abandoned or not.
—Turn left, rue Principale, St-Cleophas-De-Brandon—Here we are, decades back and light years ahead; where time has stood still yet devoured all we knew. The urn is heavy and it's hard for me to reach all the way down into the hole without letting go. But I do and we stand in silence and then we leave. We've spoken all the words already. My grandparents' old house is just down the hill, a sad remnant of what it used to be. If someone lives here they do so in squalor. We walk around and I can almost picture the big red tractor, grandpa hitching his wagon as we hop on board: "on va faire un tour au bout de la terre!" he'd say. He meant the property line but my child's mind would hear a more literal, almost mystical phrase: we're taking a ride to the end of the earth.
This is where we are now, I realize, having crossed the threshold and whispered our final goodbyes.
This is where we all stand...at the End of the Earth.