ZUTTY and CECIL by NAT GOODWIN

More eBay treasures . . . photographs from the late Forties (I assume) taken by Nat Goodwin.  Here is a study of Zutty Singleton:

Zutty by Nat Goodwin

Drummers will be able to tell us more about Zutty’s equipment, or fashion scholars will be able to date his suit.  I don’t recognize the venue — it doesn’t look like a club, but rather a room.  But what I do notice is that Mister Singleton did not have or did not bring his own drum throne, and is making do with a wooden chair, a flat box (perhaps part of his own percussion luggage?) and a towel to soften it.  However, it must have been uncomfortable as the evening wore on.  Could this have been taken in France, where Zutty worked circa 1952?

Here’s Cecil Scott, energetic reedman on many recordings in the late Twenties and early Thirties (he bubbles up on so many later Clarence Williams sides) — a man fully in touch with his playful self:

CecilScott by Nat Goodwin

For those who don’t know Cecil Scott, I will just say that he was featured on recordings with Billie Holiday, Alex Hill, Frank Newton, Slim Gaillard, Ed Hall, and many others.  He was also the proud father of twelve children and had lost one leg in an accident — a narrative that frankly defies belief.  (I will tell these tales in a future blogpost if there is sufficient interest.)

Remarkable portraits.  I haven’t found out any information about Nat Goodwin; the eBay seller says that the photographs were sold by his widow.  He had good taste in subjects and a good eye.

May your happiness increase.

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10 responses to “ZUTTY and CECIL by NAT GOODWIN

  1. Look at Zutty’s drumkit! What more does a drummer need to be one of the best ever? zutty Singleton; one of my heroes in jazz.

  2. Very possibly Zutty sitting in on someone else’s kit. I don’t recognise the kit from any other photos I’ve seen of Zutty, I’d guess the improvised heightening of the chair was done hastily to let him sit at the right height for his length of leg, the chinese cymbal is damaged (either dented or missing a chunk, all of which leads me to guess it’s not his kit. Throughout his career, he was always a prominent player and in his middle to late years when the photo was taken, he would assuredly have had better equipment tha we see here.

    Ken Mathieson

  3. Love it, just love it.

  4. You may be correct on the France thing. I got to know him, and his wife Marge, in ’66 remaining friends up until he died. Lived in the Alvin Hotel. He was playing at Ryan’s, Tony Parenti was leading the band there, Max Kaminsky, Marshall Brown, sometimes George Stevenson, Vernon Brown subbing for Marsh. Bobby Pratt was playing piano… Don Frye intermission piano. “Face’s” kit were white pearl Slingerlands, yellowed some due to age and nicotine. His bass drum was a 26”. He had the most beautiful cymbals… one especially high up on the left given to him by Kaiser Marshall… (thin) it was cracked but what an accent cym. Story: Tony loved his juice and people loved to by drinks for the band then. Nobody drank except Tony. They’d send them up to the stand and dear Tony would line those suckers up on top the piano and bat em down like… but always holding the drink high and nodding his head to the drink buyer in gratitude. When he was three sheets to the wind this one night Zutty cranked his old ratchet, mounted on his bass drum, just as Tony knocked this one back… and Tony… F____ furious reached over the piano in front of Bobby Pratt swinging his clarinet trying to whack Zutty with it. Had to be a scene right out of a movie! Patty and I were in stitches and still laugh to this day about some of the crazy stuff we saw. That particular night I finished out the night for Zut. Ain’t life grand!?!

  5. Re Cecil Scott. What about those ’35 recordings with Willie the Lion and his Cubs, some great playing there.
    Carl Spencer

  6. Now that’s a Zutty and Tony Parenti story from Mike Burgevin! Can’t make that stuff up. Please do share some Cecil Scott stories, pretty please.

  7. Please, more about Cecil Scott.

  8. Dan Morgenstern

    Two nice ones–Cecil was such a great guy (among his pupils, Steve Lacy,
    then Stephen Lackritz (sp?)). Don’t think Zutty in apt due to mirrored walls…could be Riviera, but can’t recall if that backroom had mirrors. Still
    there (7th Ave, S. at Sheridan Sq.) but ages since music there–an unsung
    Village jazz venue in its day…..

  9. With deep respect and high regard for my friend Tony P. – “If I may” – a few more remembrances: He was a very generous man. On one occasion he invited Max and Ginny Kaminsky, Graham and Sandra Stewart, Patty and myself, over to his home in Queens. His wife, whom I hoped to meet, went elsewhere while her husband entertained his friends… and it was something! Tony (and Zutty, remember) were both New Orleanians) and so Tony cooked an absolutely fantastic meal ala New Orleans with an Italian kick! He was most gracious. We listened to original 78 ODJB records, one of which was sat upon by the host himself breaking into several pieces… and he took that all in stride as if to associate it with a subway sign during that time period showing a goofy kind-of guy with the words above his head reading… “Shit Happens!” Also in among his collection was the 10”x 33 Columbia where George Wettling was leader, George’s artwork on the cover, a record I had as a teen but had long lost. I asked maestro Tony if I might borrow his record to tape it. He outright gave it to me… and I still have it to this day to remember his generosity and that marvelous Sunday afternoon at his home in Queens! If I were asked to recommend what to listen to of Tony’s recorded work I’d offer those Circle Recordings… “Swipsy Cakewalk” etc (with Wild Bill)… Thank you

  10. Melia Crumbley

    Cecil Scott was my Great Grand father! nice to see these great comments about his legacy. Although I never had the pleasure to meet him, from the stories that were passed along he was an incredible man and musician. And he passed along the musical gene as I pursued music as well, playing the violin.

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