Today sees the announcement of the UK City of Culture, which Birmingham is in the running for. But whether or not the city achieves the title, it still looks forward to the opening of a World Exclusive exhibition by renowned music photographer Peter Williams.
His iconic images for the late-lamented Straight No Chaser magazine will be exhibited at The Sauce Gallery, Custard Factory from tomorrow (16 July) as part of a double-bill exhibition commissioned by Punch Records. Williams’ original images will sit alongside remixes by the magazine’s former creative director, Swifty.
‘Headz!: The Photographic Art of Peter Williams – A Reflection on the Straight No Chaser Years’ includes jazz legends like Don Cherry, McCoy Tyner, Yusef Lateef and Nina Simone. As well as nu-generation players like DJ Shadow, Reprazent, Soweto Kinch, Courtney Pine and Cassandra Wilson, and figures from further a-field including, Flora Purim, Oumou Sangare, and the former Brazilian Minister for Culture Gilberto Gil.
Working predominantly in black and white, Williams’ images always incorporate an element of surprise; like the depictions of Miles Davis at London’s Festival Hall, horn at the ready, floating in the air like an eerie apparition, and Herbie Hancock laughing joyously. These, and other images in the collection, were commissioned over the course of a 16-year relationship with Straight No Chaser magazine, which pioneered the acid jazz movement.
The exhibition is a worldwide exclusive to the city and will coincide with the 26th Birmingham International Jazz Festival.