Riffs Obits
Published November 26, 2002
Avery Snaps His Last
Ray Avery 1920 - 2002

You've seen his masterful eye on many of Lord Buckley recordings. And you've seen his handywork on countless other jazz albums and in even more publications. Ray Avery, jazz photographer and avid jazz record collector died, suddenly, of a heart attack on Nov. 17, 2002 in Los Angeles.

One night in 1956, Avery took his 35mm camera to a small club in Hollywood called The Music Box and witnessed the improbable scene of a Lord Buckley performance. The evening was resplendent with the Royal Family (Lady Elizabeth, Princess Laurie and Prince Richard) in attendance, Milt Hinton's lively jump band, various and sundry members of the Royal Court and an abstract painter working wildly on scenery even as His Lordship held forth.Avery found his way to the foot of the stage and snapped away like a mad dig daddy. The result was three rolls of the most swingin' and jumpin' silver halide the sphere has ever laid it's peepers on. We can thank Ray for the incomparable profile of Lord Buckley on "His Royal Hipness" and for the elegant cover of "The Bad Rapping of the Marquis De Sade" and even for his kind permission to use some of his images at LBC.

Ray Avery was a kind, generous and enthusiastic human being. He will be missed in many a quarter.

Ray's photo archives are now in the gentle and sure hands of his assistant Cynthia Sesso. You can reach her at CTSIMAGES