Thursday, June 20News For London

Notes from a life in music

Credit: Val Wilmer

At 81, the London photographer Val Wilmer is taking fewer pictures these days – but with a lifetime’s portfolio like hers, there’s plenty to enjoy, Greg Neale writes.  As a young woman fascinated by music, she photographed artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix at the beginning of their careers.  But her abiding interest has been for jazz and blues, and she has photographed almost every name of note in the genres – starting with a portrait of Louis Armstrong taken when she was just 15. Her new book, Deep Blues, is published by Café Royal Books and features artists from Aretha Franklin to Muddy Waters.  Some are informal – the guitarist Johnny Embry (top) plays in a Chicago street – others, such as Miles Davis (bottom) in 1968, performance-posed. For music lovers, it’s recommended this Christmas.  

Credit: Val Wilmer

‘Blue Moments, Black Sounds – A Retrospective’  is an exhibition of photographs from Val Wilmer’s book. It is currently running at Worldly Wicked & Wise, 81 Salusbury Road, Queen’s Park, London NW6 6NH.