Considered the most influential photographer and filmmaker of Jazz in Montreal,
Randy has been implicated in numerous critically acclaimed productions in recent years. He has documented Juno award winning and nominated recordings including Joel Millers “SWIM”, Christine Jensen’s “Habitat”, Trifolia’s “Refuge”, Marianne Trudel’s “La vie commence ici”, and Christine and Ingrid Jensen's "Infinitude". He has also worked frequently with Vancouver’s Cory Weeds of Cellar Live Records, New York saxophonist Azar Lawrence, and Montreal saxophonist Al McLean. Randy is the principle photographer for L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal.
Randy endeavors to translate the nuance and emotion of music into impactful visual images and carefully crafted narrative. He has had the privilege of working closely with Jazz photographer Paul Hoeffler, for whom he printed many iconic images in the Jazz photography canon. Editioned prints of Billie Holiday, Art Blakey, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong and more were meticulously printed in Randy's traditional silver-based darkroom under the supervision of Hoeffler.
Randy's films have over 1.9 million views on YouTube, and his still images and films can be found in Downbeat Magazine, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, and other print and online media showcasing fine Jazz.
In the Photographer's Words
In truth, great images only arrive after allowing oneself to sink deeply into a situation. When one thinks that a scene is exhausted, that is usually the beginning of discovery.
So, if I am asked what do I do, the answer would be, I prepare myself for an ephemeral moment. I make sure I am in the right place, that I have the right relationship with, and understanding of the subject. I take my cues from the jazz musicians that I love to photograph - I've taken the time to develop some improvisatory skills, so that I may follow the unpredictable.
In this respect, good documentary photography is somewhat like Jazz. Years of study are quickly forgotten, and we react in the moment with a 'rigorous looseness'. Like this, moments of importance and beauty can be perceived, preserved and shared.
© 2019 Randy Cole Music Photography