Drummer Elvin Jones outside Birdland, New York, c1950s, William Claxton

For the photographer, the camera is like a jazz musician’s ax. It’s the tool that you would like to be able to ignore, but you have to have it to convey your thoughts and whatever you want to express through it. I didn’t want to stage my pictures. That’s where jazz and photography have always come together for me. They’re alike in their improvisation and their spontaneousness. They happen at the same moment that you’re hearing something and you’re seeing something, and you record it and it’s frozen forever - William Claxton