Tag Archives: Ruth Reinhardt

ON THE DOWN BEAT: MILDRED, LOUIS, BENNY, and SID

Thanks to David Weiner, I have spent some time enjoying the cover portraits (some of them became iconic) from this site that specializes in older magazines and comic books.  For sale, of course.   Connoisseurs of antiquarian pulchritude may enjoy the display of black-and-white cleavage, but here are four portraits that caught my attention.

Mildred Bailey and dachshunds, one harmonizing, perhaps during a Petrillo recording ban.  Were they rehearsing SING FOR YOUR SUPPER?:

Ralph Marterie and another trumpet player:

Benny Goodman and Martha Tilton . . . you explain this one to me, please:

And finally, Bill and Ruth Reinhardt of Chicago’s JAZZ LTD., and a somewhat frail-looking Sidney Catlett, after his heart attack:

Buy ’em, trade ’em, get the set here.

May your happiness increase.

BIG SID SPEAKS, or KNOW YOUR WORTH

An excerpt from HOT MAN: THE LIFE OF ART HODES (by Art and Chadwick Hansen, University of Illinois Press, 1992).  The subject is ostensibly the Chicago jazz club, Jazz Ltd., run by Bill and Ruth Reinhardt, but I think you’ll agree it opens up to greater vistas:

Someone once asked Big Sid [Catlett] why he would play a joint like Jazz Ltd., and Sid promptly answered, “It’s not a joint.  When Big Sid plays there it’s the spot in town.”

I know many people who undervalue themselves; their mental soundtrack is “Oh, I’m so incompetent,” and their opposite numbers, who inflate themselves out of proportion to the evidence.  Sidney Catlett knew who he was and what he did, and wasn’t afraid to acknowledge it: neither false modesty or immodesty, a lesson for all, even those who don’t play drums.