Clax Speaks, Hefti Swings

William Claxton, the master photographer who died a week ago, was a great raconteur. A sample of that side of his personality is available on the internet. In 1988, Terri Gross interviewed Claxton on her National Public Radio program Fresh Air. He discussed his experiences photographing, among others, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. To hear the conversation, go here and click on “Listen Now.”

As a bonus, listen to Felix Contreras’s short biography of arranger and composer Neal Hefti, who died on the same day as Claxton. It is illustrated with clips of three of Hefti’s most famous compositions. The accompanying obituary incudes a picture of Hefti and Frank Sinatra together, happy at one of Sinatra’s recording sessions.

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