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Big Sid Catlett


“Big Sid” Catlett was probably one of the most flexible drummers in the annals of jazz. Similarly, Catlett was competent enough within the pre-modern designs to become Louis Armstrong’s preferred percussionist; on the additional, Catlett’s powerful golf swing and good adaptability allowed him to try out commendably on the first Parker/Gillespie bop edges. Catlett excelled especially like a combo drummer within the golf swing era. A delicate player having great travel and nature, he was just the similar of such better-known contemporaries as Jo Jones or Gene Krupa. As a kid in Chicago, Catlett performed the piano and discovered the rudiments of drumming. His 1st professional gig was with Darnell Howard in 1928. Catlett used additional undistinguished Chicago rings before shifting to NY in 1930. There he became a employed gun, operating and documenting with Benny Carter (1932), McKinney’s Natural cotton Pickers (1934-1935), Fletcher Henderson (1936), and Don Redman (1936-1938). Catlett became Louis Armstrong’s drummer of preference, from 1938-1942 he was presented with Pops’ big music group. In 1941, he used a particularly superb Benny Goodman big music group that also included trumpeters Billy Butterfield and Cootie Williams. He also became a member of Duke Ellington briefly in 1945. Catlett led his personal bands through the entire ’40s, and used pianist Teddy Wilson for a while around 1948. He performed Dixieland with Armstrong’s All-Stars from 1947-1949. Though Catlett had not been a bebop drummer by itself, he made an attempt to accommodate the brand new music. He performed on one from the 1st bop recording times in 1945, a program that created the traditional early Gillespie/Parker edges. Catlett was pressured to give up touring in 1949 because of ill wellness, but he continuing to try out, becoming the home drummer in a Chicago golf club, Jazz, Ltd. He also caused Eddie Condon and John Kirby in NY in his last years. In early 1951, Catlett experienced a episode of pneumonia; in March he collapsed and passed away of a coronary attack.

Quick Facts

Full Name Sid Catlett
Died March 25, 1951, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Profession Musician
Nationality American
Music Songs Love For Scale, Linger awhile, Henderson Romp, On The Sunny Side Of the Street, Crazy Riffin', Medley: Lover Come Back To Me/ A Ghost Of A Chance With You/Just You, Just Me, Sweet and Lovely, A Night In Tunisia: Salt Peanuts
Albums Edmond Hall with Alan Elsdon's Band, Those Happy Days At Home, Sid Catlett Selected Hits Vol. 2, The Chronological Classics: Sid Catlett 1944-1946, Complete Jazz Series 1944 - 1946, Titanium Hits, Sid Catlett Selected Hits Vol. 1, Big Sid Catlett Quartet's Linger Awhile
Movies Boy! What a Girl!, Jammin' the Blues

  • Facts
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1 Jazz drummer.
2 Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1996.
3 Was a member of "Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars." Jazz Drummer.



Sepia Cinderella 1947 Drummer - John Kirby Sextet (uncredited)
Smash Your Baggage 1932 Short Drummer (uncredited)



L.A. Noire 2011 Video Game as Sid Catlett, "Before Long"
Boy! What a Girl! 1947 performer: "Crazy riffin'"



Boy! What a Girl! 1947 Himself (as Big Sid Catlett)
Jammin' the Blues 1944 Short Himself - on Drums

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

American Masters 1993 TV Series documentary Himself

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