Milt Hinton Photographs of Jazz Artists
February 11 - April 12, 2002
Lowenfeld Exhibition Hall, 10th floor Axinn Library
On loan from The Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection New York, NY
Co-sponsored by the African-American History Month Program Committee
This Hofstra Museum exhibition presents a selection of photographs (25) taken by Milt Hinton depicting jazz artists from the 1940s to the 1980s. His perspective captures a unique view of rehearsals and performances.
Milt "The Judge" Hinton (1910-2000) was regarded as the Dean of jazz bass players. During the late 1920s and early 30s, Hinton worked as a freelance musician in Chicago, performing with legendary jazz artists including Zutty Singleton, Jabbo Smith, Eddie South, Erskine Tate, and Art Tatum. In 1936, he joined Cab Calloway and for fifteen years performed with renowned Calloway sidemen. During this period he was also featured on numerous recordings accompanying Calloway sidemen as well as Benny Carter, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters, and Teddy Wilson. Some of these sessions have become jazz classics.
After leaving Calloway in the early 1950s, Hinton began working as a studio freelancer in New York City. For two decades he played on thousands of jazz and popular records accompanying artists. He also played on hundreds of jingles and film soundtracks and dozens of radio and television programs. In addition, he made concert and festival appearances around the world and toured extensively with Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, and Bing Crosby. Hinton has played with virtually every jazz and popular artist from Ellington, Coltrane and the Marsalis Brothers to Streisand, Midler and McCartney.
Hinton began taking photographs of his friends in the 1930s. Over the years his collection has grown to more than 60,000 images. The work depicts an extensive range of jazz artists and popular performers in varied settings - "on the road", in recording studios, at parties, and at home - over a period of six decades.
In June 1981, Hinton had his first one-person show in Philadelphia. Subsequently his photographs have been exhibited across the country (including the Parsons School of Design, the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, The Denver Art Museum, the Rochester Institute of Technology) and in Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and The United Kingdom. In spring 1997, he had concurrent one-person shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Hinton's photographs continue to have a wide audience. They have been published in Popular Photography, Downbeat, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, and Life. His photographs have also appeared in documentary films including The Long Night of Lady Day (Billie Holiday), The Brute and the Beautiful (Ben Webster), and Listen Up (Quincy Jones). A Great Day in Harlem, a 1994 documentary about Esquire's photography shoot in 1958, features numerous photographs as well as a Hinton home movie.
Bass Line: The Stories and Photographs of Milt Hinton, by Milt Hinton and David G. Berger was published by Temple University Press in 1988. It was selected Book of the Year by Jazz Times. Three years later, OverTime: The Jazz Photographs of Milt Hinton was published by Pomegranate Art Books.