The Blue Devils in crisp linen suits


The Blue Devils were a Kansas city jazz band in the 1920s and 30s, and above we have a photograph from 1932 of the saxophone section (Theo Ross and Buster Smith) welcoming their newest member, Lester Young, in the middle. For jazz fans, other big names that were in the band included Hot Lips Page, Bill ‘Count’ Basie and Jimmy Rushing. If you don’t know who any of those guys are, no problem – just look at how fine those 1930s suits are! Freshly pressed three-piece linen suits, and look at the details! Jazz orchestras knew how to dress. Perfectly matching down to the ties, the shoes, even the pocket handkerchiefs. And look closely, Lester is even holding a pipe.

Photo from ‘Jazz: A History of America’s Music’ by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns.

One thought on “The Blue Devils in crisp linen suits”

  1. I admire the beautiful clothing in this photo — it wasn’t “retro” then, but the current thing — and it doesn’t hurt that one of the most inventive musicians we will ever know is holding a pipe in the middle of the shot.

    Self-promotion: I’ve added SWING FASHIONISTA to my blogroll. I have a jazz blog (with live videos) called JAZZ LIVES. On it, few people are dressed so nattily, but the music is, as they used to say, in the groove. Keep posting those lovely photos!

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