Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moore Musicians

Man in Costume with Guitar
Frank B. Moore was a photographer based in New Orleans for more the sixty five years. Despite the fact that he was born in Minnesota in 1869, he certainly found his true home in New Orleans, which he chronicled from 1896 until his death in 1957.

Like most photographers he shot to make a living, and his commissions ranged from graduating classes to wedding parties, nudes in the Bellocq tradition (but not from Storyville) and individual portraits, groups and even the occasional interior. His work can be found in the wonderful Louisiana Digital Archive Collection, which seems to grow every time I visit.

One of Mr. Moore's favorite subjects was musicians, and very much in keeping with the New Orleans tradition, he photographed a varied array of bands and groups, playing a varied array of music.

Mr. Moore's work is a fine glimpse of a bygone era in a city committed to bygone eras. Some of it (like everything in New Orleans that ever happened) seems almost to be contemporary.

Captain Coe, Daughter and Friends, February 21, 1917
Captain L. Allison Coe was an officer in the Salvation Army

Three Trumpeters

Edward Chittendon and Wife, June 2, 1918

Women's Band, possibly the Rembrandt Chicago Jazz Band?

A Society Band

Schilling's Dixie Jazz Band, June 6, 1917
According to the notes, the gentleman playing clarinet is African American, which would make this one of the first integrated jazz bands ever.

The G. J. Schilling Dixie Jazz Band, April 19, 1921
No African Americans in 1921 for Mr. Schilling

The Tipica Mexicana Band

Salvation Army Musicians

Four Musicians
The info speculates that these are Mexican- American musicians, but clearly they're Hawaiian

Mr. Moore has left us with a great gift- another glimpse of America's Greatest City, and another confirmation of the only- in- New- Orleans theory of being.

1 comment:

SueWho said...

wow! great pictures! and i love your captions!