Blues, rock and jazz photographer Herb Nolan captured the luminaries of the mid-twentieth-century music scene from his Chicago vantage point, always adopting a relaxed and unstudied approach, even in his performance shots. Neither hyping their images nor subverting them, Nolan strains his subjects through an affirmative humanist sieve, presenting them simply as regular guys who are deprived of any aura, but are all the more accessible and ingratiating without one. Nolan’s banner shot shows Frank Zappa noodling on his guitar in a littered dressing room, oblivious to everything but his instrument. Dressed down, backstage and at his ease—with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the table next to him—Zappa is human-all-too-human in the best way. This image is not ready to adorn an album cover, but in a saner world it would be. Michael Weinstein)
At David Leonardis Gallery, 217 West Huron, (312)863-9045, through January 30.