|Many knowledgeable and helpful people contacted me with their theories as to the identity
of the mystery trumpeter. The most popular guess was Max Kaminsky, but I never found a
photograph of Kaminsky clear enough to convince me.
Some people suggested Louis Armstrong, but I didn’t see any resemblance.
A few guessed cornetist Joseph “Muggsy” Spanier (1906-1967).
That seemed plausible judging from the late-1930s photo (below), but the drawing looked
like later Partch, and the musician the art looked older than the 1939 Muggsy, so I started
seeking a shot of Muggsy later in life.
Finally, I spotted a tiny image of this French CD:
The era (late 1940s to mid 1950s) seemed about the same vintage as ViP’s drawing,
and I thought I saw a resemblance in the furrowed forehead, raised eyebrows and
sleepy eyelids, so I took a chance and bought the disc.
Fortunately, there was a nice large version of that shot inside the booklet:
Now we're getting somewhere!
With some minor Photoshop manipulation (flopping horizontally, resizing and rotating)
I’ve convinced myself that the Partch drawing is indeed our man Muggsy:
Not only do we see the aforementioned features, but also the slicked-back hairdo,
slightly simian upper lip area, and a deep crease in the smile-line. If I were drawing
a caricature of Muggsy, I’d have latched onto the same characteristics.
Many thanks to all who weighed in on this. Every input and opinion was of great help!
By the way, the music isn't bad, a little too "trad" for my taste. When I have a hankering
for that style I usually head straight for Satchmo, but the price of the disc was well worth
solving this mystery.
Now I just have to find out where this art was printed in the first place...
Jazz researchers, start your search engines!