The painting is here reproduced from ESQUIRE magazine in 1947. The main figure in characteristic posture is Cab Calloway, doing his schtick in front of his band in his celebrated Zoot Suit. I associate the Zoot with the early 'Forties, the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 in particular. A genuine Calloway Zuit suit (above, courtesy of 'Marylandstater') was photographed in an exhibition at the Baltimore City Hall in 2007.

See also the Zoot on display in two feature films, Spike Lee's Malcolm X, where the director has his own stylish costume with feathered hat at the beginning of the narrative. The Riots feature at the beginning of that much misunderstood de Palma film, The Black Dahlia.