A recent meander through eBay turned up two stunning autographed photographs — photographs taken by the much-missed Duncan Schiedt. I am short on wall space, so I contented myself with watching the bidding race (Lips beat Red, which would have pleased Lips). The Lips photograph sold for over $150; Red brought much less. It’s not the way I would choose to celebrate Red’s birthday, today.

However, they are beautiful photographs from the late 1940s or very early 1950s, when Duncan was a regular at Stuyvesant Casino and Central Plaza on the weekends.


and the signature, which says it all:

Among the great unsolved mysteries of my adulthood: when did Lips begin signing his name this way?

Henry Red, standing in front of the recognizable venetian blinds of Central Plaza:

and a closer look:

If Duncan Schiedt had never held a camera, he would still have a very warm spot in my heart as a sterling person and an accomplished old-fashioned melodic pianist. He moved on in 2014 — with the most splendid easy grace, which I describe here. I urge you to read his farewell letter: it moves me still.

But we can move from grief to more exultant matters.

Red, Pee Wee Russell, Joe Sullivan, Eddie Condon, Jack Bland, Al Morgan, Gene Krupa, 1932:

and more of the same, with Red, Pee Wee, Happy Caldwell, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Froeba, Condon, Bland, Pops Foster, Zutty Singleton:

and Lips, Pee Wee, Lou McGarity, Sullivan, George Wettling, 1952:

Lips, Peanuts Hucko, Cutty Cutshall, Ralph Sutton, Charlie Treager, Eddie Phyfe, 1950:

Red and Lips are two of my most serious heroes. Delve into their music: joy will greet you. And Duncan: a superb person and wonderful artist.

May your happiness increase!


  1. Had nice chats with Duncan and love his Jazz In Black And White. He was kind enough to autograph his favorite photo in that book for me. I was hoping to get a photo redone I passed on before of Marion McPartland but he passed away before I could get that. Great guy !!

  2. Dear Michael, Duncan Schiedt had been a wonderful IAJRC-friend who had assisted me at my Red Allen-Higgy bio-disco with several photos & info-dates. https://dcislandora.wrlc.org/islandora/object/dcislandora%3A710
    On p110 on my updated pdf files of chapters-7+8 1940-1954 you´ll see the original larger photo showing the back from an unknown pianist and a 2nd shot. Duncan had dated this for 1949, location in Detroit where Duncan had met Red and had shot also private photos Red & Duncan – which I had seen in Red Allen´s large A3-scrapbook but not used.
    All the best Franz
    Just I have sent Maristella three sessions of Subject is Jazz No.5+6+10 with separated clips free for use. The WE TRANSFER link is https://we.tl/t-hCRBYF32Aa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s