Josh Rushton, son of the late bass saxophonist / clarinetist Joe Rushton, sent this photograph — taken in his family house in Silverlake, California, in 1956. The three men here are rapt in concentration, listening to Joe’s Bix Beiderbecke 78s. From the left, they are cornetist Tom Pletcher, happily still with us, his father Stewart Pletcher — no longer alive but brought back to life through an extraordinary audio portrait on the JAZZ ORACLE label, and Rushton himself. Josh pointed out the very exciting wallpaper (how could anyone miss it?) and the fact that it was used to cover the front of the floor-standing speaker to the right. And don’t miss the photos on the wall of the Rushton den! The photograph here gets deeper as you look more into it: the family photograph on the wall echoes the jazz family depicted and the jazz family gathered to listen to Bix.
To me, casual photography seems devalued these days, with everyone snapping candids of themselves on their smartphones, but a photograph like this captures people, a place, a way of being: you can almost hear the records spinning.
The photograph appears here courtesy of Josh Rushton, and is reproduced with his kind permission.