Here is a very good illustration, apparently made by adding drawings to a photograph, of Paul Whiteman’s band at the beginning of their career. Whiteman was already building a reputation; soon he would be King of Jazz, with the power to make George Gershwin write a Rhapsody in Blue even when he didn’t want to.
By the late 1920s, Whiteman’s band would grow to a monstrous thirty-piece organization, but here it is a typical 1920 hotel dance band of nine musicians.
Or is it ten? What inexplicable mystery have we uncovered here? Are we face to face with the supernatural?
Take a close look at the photograph. There is one extra character on the bandstand. Have you spotted him yet? Take a look between the legs of the second reed man:
Do we need any more excuse to hear a jazz record from a century ago? No, we do not.