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Big Sid Catlett

Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett was an American jazz drummer. Catlett was one of the most versatile drummers of his era, adapting with the changing music scene as it progressed toward bebop. Catlett was born in Evansville, Indiana and at an early age he was instructed in the rudiments of piano and drums under the tutelage of a music teacher hired by his mother. When he and his family relocated to Chicago, Catlett received his first drum kit, and immersed himself in the diverse styles and techniques of Zutty Singleton, Warren "Baby" Dodds, and Jimmy Bertrand, among others. In 1928, Catlett began playing with violinist and clarinet player Darnell Howard, before joining pianist Sammy Stewart's Orchestra in New York City and making appearances at the Savoy Ballroom. After performing for several lesser established musical acts, Catlett began recording and performing with multiple musicians including Benny Carter, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Fletcher Henderson, and Don Redman throughout the 1930s

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Big Sid Catlett in 5 Clips

Big Sid Catlett in 5 Clips

Sidney “Big Sid" Catlett was an extraordinary drummer who immediately grasped and advanced nearly all jazz styles—New Orleans, Chicago, Swing and bebop—to widen his playing and recording opportunities. As a result, he played with masters of the forms: Louis Armstrong; Eddie Condon and Muggsy Spanier; Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington; and Charlie Parker and ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Big Sid Catlett: 1944-46

Big Sid Catlett: 1944-46

Back in January, I posted on drummers Gene Krupa and Big Sid Catlett, whose styles were quite similar in their tap-dance attack. As noted then, Catlett was one of the most influential and dynamic drummers of the 1940s. Sadly, he died in 1951, which means his entire career was spent in the 78rpm era, and his ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout

Read "Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong Terry Teachout 508 Pages ISBN: # 1906779562 Aurum Press 2014 Critic Terry Teachout published his biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2009, republishing it under the present title of Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Memories in Motian

Read "Memories in Motian" reviewed by Zeno De Rossi

Soon after hearing about Paul Motian's passing (November 22, 2011) I felt the urge to delve (again) into his music. Later on, inspired by a moving writing by Ellery Eskelin (published on his website and reproduced below, by his kind permission), I thought it would have been interesting to collect brief memories from ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Louis Armstrong & The All Stars: Satchmo At Symphony Hall - The Complete Performances

Read "Louis Armstrong & The All Stars: Satchmo At Symphony Hall  - The Complete Performances" reviewed by Skip Heller

Louis Armstrong & The All StarsSatchmo At Symphony Hall: 65th Anniversary The Complete PerformancesVerve 2012 Writing about trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong is difficult. In the most literal sense, he is the watershed of jazz. He was neither the first acknowledged genius of the music (soprano saxophonist Sidney ...

NEWS: RECORDING

New Release from Louis Armstrong "Satchmo At Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary" On Hip-O Select / Verve

New Release from Louis Armstrong "Satchmo At Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary" On Hip-O Select / Verve

Louis Armstrong, a.k.a. “Satchmo,” is an American icon. Satchmo At Symphony Hall, recorded in 1947 and first issued on Decca in 1951, captured one of his greatest performances, for which a legendary edition of his All Stars band joined him, with Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Dick Cary, Arvell Shaw, Big Sid Catlett and singer Velma Middleton. ...

ARTICLE: RACE AND JAZZ

Race and Jazz Criticism

Read "Race and Jazz Criticism" reviewed by Greg Thomas

When I began this Race and Jazz series several months ago, I knew the topics I wanted to touch upon, and the general culture vs. race point-of-view I intended to pursue. With those chord changes (topics) and that melodic perspective (pro-culture, anti-race) in mind and at play, I figured I'd proceed with the rest by ear. ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Teddy Wilson: Solo / Big Band

Read "Teddy Wilson: Solo / Big Band" reviewed by David Rickert

Teddy WilsonSolo / Big BandStoryville Records2010 Teddy Wilson will always be primarily known for his work with the Benny Goodman band and the reliable piano accompaniment he provided for it on many classic records. After the big band era, although he teamed up with Goodman again from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Max Roach / Archie Shepp: The Long March

Read "The Long March" reviewed by Troy Collins

Recorded live in concert at the Willisau Jazz Festival on August 30, 1979, The Long March documents another of drummer Max Roach's historic duo collaborations with the leaders of the jazz avant-garde. This stellar date with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp follows Streams of Consciousness (Piadrum, 1977), with pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, and Birth and Rebirth (Black Saint, ...


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