Growing up in California, William Claxton spent his time collecting 78s by Duke Ellington, Lena Home, Count Basie, and Tommy Dorsey. As he pasted their pictures into scrapbooks, Claxton yearned to become a part of their world. By the time he started photographing musicians himself, he looked for ways to define them as people, not just as performers. He wanted to capture the innate drama in their lives, the fun, the anxiety, the eternal youthfulness. He learned to do all this and more in the 1950s, when his album covers for Pacific Jazz Records reflected a sound born of beachside jazz clubs and balmy California nights. Today, after decades of award-winning jacket photos, magazine layouts, books and exhibitions, it is safe to call William Claxton the most celebrated photographer in jazz history. Claxography offers a fresh look at his work: nearly all its pictures appear here for the first time.