“It’s Been So Long” – Edmond Hall’s Swingtet (1944)

Blue Note; New York, May 5, 1944: Benny Morton-tb/Edmond Hall-cl/Harry Carney-bar/Don Frye-p/Everett Barksdale-g/Alvin Raglin-b/Sidney Catlett-d.

A something in a summer‘s noon – A depth – an Azure – a perfume – Transcending ecstasy. — Emily Dickinson

From the poem: A Something In A Summer’s Day.

It’s not quite summer yet, but this song, this poem and the promising weather here in Seattle today seem to just fit together nicely.


Big Sid Catlett And Gene Krupa – “Boy, What A Girl !” (film clip, 1947)

Big Sid’s cool drumming style, live! Amazing.

And we even get to hear Big Sid Catlett speak in this clip from the 1947 film, “Boy, What A Girl !” directed by Arthur H. Leonard.

Gene’s appearance was not written into the script but after a surprise visit to the New York set, to say hello to his friend Sid, the producers wrote in this dialogue. Consequently, Gene Krupa is the only non-black cast member to the otherwise all-black “race film.” Gene and Sid were truly good friends in real life and remained so until Sid’s death in 1951, four years after the release of this film. Sad.

“Blue Skies” – John Hardee’s Swingtet (1946)

Blue Note; New York, February 28, 1946: John Hardee-ts/Sammy Benskin-p/Tiny Grimes-g/John Simmons-b/Sidney Catlett-d.

The exact ending date of WWII is disputed between historians, politicians, servicemen and academics. Perhaps it never really ended. This one is close enough for me to fit “between the wars.”


“I Never Knew” – The Lester Young Quartet (1943)

A Youtube repost. Recorded in NYC, December 28, 1943.

“Fine jazz by the Lester Young Quartet with Johnny Guarnieri on piano, Big Sid Catlett on drums, and Slam Stewart on the bass. And Lester Young on tenor sax. recorded in 1943. Great jazz!”-cdpdx.