Tag Archives: Lorna Sass At Large


Enrico Tomasso’s talents are too large to be enclosed in one photograph.   So the celebrated nature photographer Lorna Sass took two of him in action at the 2010 Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival.

Rico is always slightly in motion, so these photographs capture him as a moving subject. 

If you haven’t seen the wide range of Lorna Sass’s photographs (eclectic photography — high-heeled women, shadows, scorpions, and exquisite nature studies) hurry on down to http://www.lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com.


Nature photographer and essayist Lorna Sass also has a keen ear for swinging jazz, and last night, October 16, 2009,  she took her camera to Roth’s Westside (Columbus Avenue at 93rd Street on the Upper West Side of New York City) to capture some of the music — visually, that is.  Here are a few of her inspired portraits, capturing Ehud Asherie, Dan Barrett, Attillo Troiano, Jon-Erik Kellso, and Luigi Grasso in the heat of the moment:

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 Wonderful portrait studies, taken under less-than-ideal conditions (including low light, rapidly moving subjects, and that infernal chalkboard as background).  Check out Lorna’s blog, www.lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com. for more intriguing art and nature photographs!


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Last Tuseday, midway through his October 2009 New York City tour, Duke Heitger was scheduled to bring his trumpet to Roth’s Westside Steakhouse to play duets with pianist Ehud Asherie.  One of Ehud’s friends, the Italian clarinetist Attillo Troiano, was there and joined the fun.  (You might not have heard of him, but you will — he’s 27, comes from Matera, Italy, and is also a wonderful tenor saxophonist.)

Lorna Sass, photographer and blogger extraordinaire (www.lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com) was also there and shared a few of her portrait studies of this trio. 

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Duke, working hard, to great effect.

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A young master — you’re going to hear from him!

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The best part of this final portrait is the one we might at first overlook or even think a failure of Lorna’s camera — the blur of Ehud’s left hand.  But those of us who have watched Ehud know that this portrait is true to life, that his fingers do fly over the keys!

I imagine my faithful readership saying, “Great portraits!  Too bad we couldn’t hear what the trio sounded like.”

Your wish, as they say in the movies, is my command.  Here are Duke, Ehud, and Attillo romping through a set-closing SHEIK OF ARABY:

It takes presence of mind and a clear head to play ballads in a noisy restaurant, which is what this trio did — so here are two such moving examples: APRIL IN PARIS and YOU GO TO MY HEAD. 

Notice that the trio plays APRIL IN PARIS without any of the Fifties Basie cliches — just as a lovely melody!  And they honor YOU GO TO MY HEAD in much the same way:

Great pleasure and emotional depth — worthy of being captured twice!


People know Lorna Sass’s brilliant photographs of Sicilian wildflowers, Utah rock formations, blossoms in Central Park, and urban landscapes: gargoyles and animals leering from apartment buildings, fences and benches, the architecture we don’t always see.  But how many people know her as a superb jazz photographer, someone who catches sound and emotion while they’re still fresh?  Here are some portraits taken in the last few days.  They resonate.  And if you don’t know Lorna’s fauna and flora, visit www.lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com

Daryl Sherman and Wycliffe Gordon at the Oak Room

Daryl Sherman and Wycliffe Gordon at the Oak Room

Duke Heitger, John Allred, and Ehud Asherie at Roth's Westside Steakhouse

Duke Heitger, John Allred, and Ehud Asherie at Roth's Westside Steakhouse

David Ostwald, Kevin Dorn, Ken Peplowski, Anat Cohen, Duke Heitger, Dion Tucker at Birdland

David Ostwald, Kevin Dorn, Ken Peplowski, Anat Cohen, Duke Heitger, Dion Tucker at Birdland

Ehud Asherie studies Dick Hyman at Birdland

Ehud Asherie studies Dick Hyman at Birdland


Readers of this blog know Lorna Sass as a fine jazz photographer.  She captures the essence of her subjects and conveys it in a single frame.  Her jazz pedigree is impeccable: she admires the living (Wycliffe Gordon, Jon-Erik Kellso, Kevin Dorn, and others) and the departed (Louis, the Brothers Mills, and the Sisters Boswell).

But Lorna is a woman of many talents.  She’s an established journalist, travel writer, essayist, culinary historian, medieval scholar, and the author of fifteen award-winning cookbooks.  Her specialties are whole grains, quick healthy meals, pressure cooking, and vegan cuisine.  In the picture below, she’s on the left (with red eyeglasses) next to Mollie Katzen.  The night this picture was taken, both of them had won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for their new books.  Lorna’s was WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY.


Lorna has just started her own blog — LORNA SASS AT LARGE. You can get to it by way of my blogroll.  The web address is http://lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com

Because I admire insightful prose, I’ve been enjoying her essays on Sicily, popcorn, Chinese takeout, and other delicious subjects.  And her wonderful photographs.  She improvises nimbly over the chords and never turns a predictable phrase.

You might work up an appetite while reading her blog, but you’ll leave it feeling satisfied.

And I promise I won’t be jealous if you visit her blog first.