Requiem For A Sideman has been a valuable asset for researching musicians who don’t warrant mention by John Chilton or Gunther Schuller. This website not only provides important dates, locations and biographical information, but its photo request service uses photographers “in the field” to help fill in the blanks.

That service now gifts a fitting coda to a recent post about reed player and discographical ghost Ben Whitted:2852147_1428815402
Morbid, heartwarming and informative all at once, this headstone encapsulates the bundle of influences and experiences hiding under an “obscure” name. An ex-military musician turned dance band sideman and occasional jazz soloist, Whitted not only witnessed but also participated in several chapters of American popular music. He must have had something (dare we say “unique?”) to say on his instrument, more to offer than matrix numbers and dates alongside the musicians we all know so well. That’s one reason to keep listening.

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4 thoughts on “Requiem For A Sideman

  1. Hal Smith says:

    He played great on the 1934 Fats Waller and his Rhythm sides, too!

    • Andrew J. Sammut says:

      I agree with you, Hal. A few critics have given Whitted $#!+ for those sides but I think he played a very specific role on them and did so with balance and aplomb. Bravo, Ben!

  2. pwlsax says:

    It all makes sense really. Altho we value these transitory talents for their contributions, the most important thing, in the grand scheme of history, is that they are dead.

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