Episode 141 - Jack Bradley

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When we think of the blended art forms of music and photography, there is a something iconic that can come out of a still picture of the great artists of the past.

Catching a glimpse of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock or Leonard Bernstein conducting at the Philharmonic, it’s as if you can see the music coming out of the page - the thoughts coming from the artist as they glance to the side, backstage. We can let our imagination come up with scenarios, like picturing a scene or portrait while we listen to the music itself.

Recently Ronnie was fortunate to be introduced to Mr. Jack Bradley at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on Cape Cod. Nancy, His wife of 48 years, who you just heard, spoke of the death of “Louie” in 1971. That man was legendary Jazz trumpeter, vocalist and composer Louis Armstrong, who from the 1920s-60s was the lead influencer of both structural and improvisational elements of instrumental and vocal jazz for decades to follow.

Ronnie's colleague Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas had known of Above The Basement and wanted to connect him with Mr. Bradley. At first glance, Jack is indeed a man who visited the emergency room after a fall and a man living with Parkinson’s Disease. But when he picked up the microphone to speak about his story of the love of music, which eventually led to a career as personal photographer for Mr. Armstrong, his face and body illuminated with excitement.

Jack took us on his journey as a kid with eyes and ears glued to the local bandstand, to his Merchant Marine work that took him to NYC, which led to the nightly discovery of jazz with a camera around his neck at all times.

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