The jazz scholar Bob Porter has his own website, www.jazzetc.net., which is well worth looking into. Bob also has a long-running rhythm ‘n’ blues radio show on WBGO-FM (www.wbgo.org.) , and has produced and annotated many fine records and CDs.
What caught my eye this time on Bob’s site was his inclusion of three previously unseen photographs of the Ellington band, presumably taken in late 1940 at the Michigan State Fair, sent along by Fred Reif.
They show Cootie Williams, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Juan Tizol, Otto Hardwicke, and Ellington’s phenomenal bassist Jimmy (or Jimmie) Blanton. Usually the few shots of Blanton are fuzzy, cropped from larger photos: these are as sharp and arresting as Blanton’s own sound. Worth inspecting indeed!
Here’s one: for the other two, be sure to visit http://www.jazzetc.net/articles/new-jimmy-blanton-photos-does-anyone-have-any-information-on-these-photos.