With camera in hand, master photographer Robert Doisneau crisscrossed Paris to capture intimate moments with star musicians such as Eartha Kitt in a jazz club, Django Reinhardt at home, and Yehudi Menuhin backstage, or with locals at a neighborhood dance or jamming together in a brass band. He was commissioned for portraits of Georges Brassens, Juliette Gréco, Charles Aznavour, or Claude François, and he immortalized a new generation of musicians in the 1980s including Rita Mitsouko, Les Négresses Vertes, Pierre Schaeffer, and Pierre Boulez. Doisneau’s lifelong friend Maurice Baquet with his cello formed a photogenic duo on impromptu outings that gave rise to iconic images.
Doisneau’s passion for the energy and joy inherent in the music world comes alive on the page in images that cover the musical spectrum, from classical and jazz to be-bop to the roots of modern rap and alternative rock. This book—curated by the photographer’s granddaughter to accompany an exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris that will include music by Moriarty and scenography by Stephan Zimmerli— features more than one hundred photographs, many previously unpublished, that showcase the artist’s mastery in editing, special effects, photomontage, collage, photo distortions, and splits.