Walking round the collection of Siggi Loch’s photographs which are part of the Art In Music exhibition at the Weserburg gallery in Bremen is a bit like reliving one’s record collection, at least if one is in my and Siggi’s generation.
His photographs look good in large size around the gallery and capture evocative moments in music. They might not be up there with the work of the major music photographers in terms of photographic quality and artistry, but they make up for it by virtue of the access that Loch had to his subjects, as label manager at Philips and then as MD of Liberty/United Artists and WEA, ending up as founder of the ACT label.
So we have intimate portraits or private moments of everyone from jazz players Louis Armstrong and Klaus Doldinger, through ’60s rock groups like the Spencer Davis Group and the Walker Brothers, on to the blues greats who visited Europe, like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, to the Cannonball Adderley band, and then all the great European jazz players on the ACT label, including Esbjörn Svensson.
The photographs make up a small part of the Art In Music exhibition, however. Most of it is dedicated to the arts works – mainly paintings – that Siggi has bought down the years and which are featured on the covers of ACT recordings.
One fascinating picture is in pen and ink, gouache and collage. It is a draft illustration intended for a 1951 Billie Holiday release. It was never used. The artist is Andy Warhol.
I can’t show you that one but I can show you this striking image with its homophonic play: