Since Mayor Mike Bloomberg made Times Square a pedestrian plaza, I’ve become all too accustomed to characters in costumes (and some figures, like the Naked Cowboy and his male and female imitators, with the bare minimum of clothing). These animated performers pretend to be something else, until the moment they demand money from tourists. Then their true selves—aggressive, out for the main chance—spring out.
Except for this jazzman I noticed and photographed this past Friday. In contrast to the other denizens of Times Square, apparel artifice was not what he was about. He came prepared to coax everything out of his instrument.