brownie

Jazz Auction in New York

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There's this auction of rare jazz items to be held at New York's Lincoln Center next February 20. Instruments that belonged to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Gerry Mulligan are being put on the auction block by Guernsey's:

http://www.guernseys.com/Auctions/Jazz/About.html

Could not find a newsstory on this but AP moved several photos to illustrate the auction including that one:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor.../nyr10601190210

The caption of which mentions 'an unreleased tape of a 1951 performance by Parker' among the rare items being offered!

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The story on the auction has just turned up on AP.

JAZZ TREASURES TO BE UP FOR AUCTION

NEW YORK - A treasure trove of jazz memorabilia — including saxophones that belonged to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet and a gown that Peggy Lee wore when she sang "Fever" — will go on the auction block next month.

"It's the first truly major auction focusing on jazz," Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, which is holding the Feb. 20 auction, said Tuesday.

Most of the nearly 400 lots were consigned by the families of the jazz legends to whom they belonged, Ettinger said. Several of the family members will donate proceeds to foundations that promote jazz and provide scholarships to young musicians, he said.

Among the items to be sold are a 27-page letter handwritten by Louis Armstrong, a smoking jacket worn by Thelonious Monk, an unreleased tape of a 1951 performance by Parker and original Al Hirschfeld caricatures.

Most of the lots will be sold with no reserve price.

Ettinger estimated that Parker's sax and Coltrane's tenor sax each could sell for as much as $1 million.

"It has his name engraved in it," he said of Parker's instrument. "He's pictured in hundreds of photographs with it."

The auction will take place at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and buyers can bid by telephone, through the online auction site eBay or in person.

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one. Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one. Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

I think I'll bid on Bird's horn!

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one.  Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

I think I'll bid on Bird's horn!

If everyone on the board chips in, maybe we can bid on one of his reeds. :rolleyes:

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who knows, we may end up with the one that chirps and made him sound like a bird. Did you know that is where he got his nickname?

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who knows, we may end up with the one that chirps and made him sound like a bird. Did you know that is where he got his nickname?

Ravi Shankar said that, right? ;)

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one.  Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

I think I'll bid on Bird's horn!

You want to go halfsies?

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one.  Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

I think I'll bid on Bird's horn!

You want to go halfsies?

....which half do you want ;)!

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I wonder who gets Coltrane's horn? I really hope it goes to someone who understand what it is and what it represents, and not some ignorant "cool" yuppie who wants to simply impress people

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This is so cool. That just happens to be when I'm going to be in NYC! I'll definitely be checking out the "preview". :tup

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who knows, we may end up with the one that chirps and made him sound like a bird. Did you know that is where he got his nickname?

Ravi Shankar said that, right? ;)

No, I think it was Norah Jones...

:lol:

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The New York Times has a story on the auction in its edition today.

January 20, 2005

Pieces of Jazz History Head to Auction Block

By BEN RATLIFF

There is Charlie Parker's King alto saxophone, with mother-of-pearl keys, his primary horn in the 1950's. There is Benny Goodman's clarinet, John Coltrane's soprano and tenor saxophones, Gerry Mulligan's baritone. Thelonious Monk's tailored jacket. A ribald 27-page letter from Louis Armstrong to his manager. One of Ornette Coleman's notebooks from the late 1950's, with his practice exercises and, on one of the last pages, one of his greatest compositions, "Focus on Sanity," written in pencil. Home movies of Coltrane shoveling snow outside his house in Philadelphia in the late 1950's. Charlie Parker concert recordings made by his wife, Chan, and high school book reports by Monk.

On Feb. 20 at the Allen Room in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, Guernsey's Auction House will put all these items, and many others, on the block at a special jazz auction. Previews will be held on Feb. 18 and 19, but Guernsey's would not estimate how much the auction will make.

"It would be folly to try to come up with a number," said Guernsey's owner, Arlan Ettinger. Very few of the lots have reserves - the secret minimum prices agreed upon by the sellers and the house. Nor is the house listing estimates in its catalog.

Jazz artifacts have been auctioned before, through Christie's and Sotheby's, but there has been no single auction of this size entirely dedicated to jazz. And though there have been jazz collectors of one kind or another since the 1930's, it seems to have taken many of the families of jazz's royalty this long to dislodge the once mundane items, long buried in closets, that now have great value not only to jazz aficionados but also to the larger community of collectors.

But just because these memorabilia are now turning up at a public auction does not mean they will end up in public hands, at least not right away.

Instruments and sheet music have entered the collections of institutions like the Smithsonian and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University - the country's greatest academic center for jazz studies - which preserve them and make them available for scholars. (The city of Kansas City, Mo., owns one of Parker's plastic alto saxophones, sold at auction by Sotheby's in 1995 for around $140,000, and it has become the centerpiece of the town's American Jazz Museum. The University of Wisconsin owns the bass that belonged to the great Ellington bassist Jimmy Blanton and occasionally lets students play it.) But institutions, which have limited budgets and often rely on donations by the artists' families to acquire material, may not have the money to buy many of the items at Guernsey's auction.

Instead the pieces may be bought by collectors of modest means who dearly cling to their scraps of history, perhaps without giving them proper care. Or they might be acquired by wealthy collectors who eventually lose interest in them and, after death, release them to museums.

"If I were to guess," Mr. Ettinger said, "sooner or later, the majority of this material will end up in museums. But it could take a decade."

In the Smithsonian's collection lie reams of unpublished Duke Ellington music, Lionel Hampton's vibraphone and Ella Fitzgerald's entire archive, among thousands of other items. In nearly every case, the material was donated.

"We'd love to have some of these things in this auction," said John Edward Hasse, the Smithsonian's curator of American music. "But we don't get a penny from the federal budget for acquisitions. So we rely heavily on the good will, generosity and public spiritedness of musicians and their families."

Alice Coltrane, the widow of John Coltrane, is the source for much of the Coltrane material in the auction, including the saxophones and paperwork. In a telephone interview yesterday, she said she had been approached by several museums in the past, including the Smithsonian, but the circumstances had never seemed right for her to donate material.

"We got a letter about this auction in New York," she explained, "and I had never before considered anything like that. All of the instruments that we have are kept here in our family. But once I thought it through, I thought it would be O.K. if we presented some of the memorabilia."

Some of the proceeds, she explained, will go to the John Coltrane Foundation, a fund that has supported young jazz musicians for 18 years by giving them scholarships to music schools. Some will go to Jowcol, the Coltrane publishing company; some to her own charities, including churches and hospitals in Los Angeles and Detroit, the Red Cross, and a small school for orphaned children in Puttaparthi, India, near Madras. She still expects at some point, she said, to strike a deal with the Smithsonian.

One auction piece from Ms. Coltrane's house in California - the original sheet-music sketches for Coltrane's 1964 suite "A Love Supreme," among the most important works in jazz - bears explicit notes and markings in Coltrane's hand. ("Make ending attempt to reach transcendent level"; "Rising harmonies to a level of blissful stability at end"; "Last chord to sound like final chord of 'Alabama.' ") These two pages, which have never been seen by scholars, aren't just a curio: they will affect scholarship.

Many objects are more important than they seem at first glance, revealing something about an artist's early interests, his psychology or the culture of the times. Also in the Coltrane collection is a fifth-grade school scrapbook, solemnly emblazoned in cut-out block letters with the words "Negro History Book," which indicates who made an impression on him in the 1930's. In it, he copied out poems by Langston Hughes and James Weldon Johnson, and pasted pictures of black entertainers like the Dancing Nicholas Brothers, Marian Anderson and Fletcher Henderson, as well as the etiquette teacher Charlotte Hawkins Brown.

In Monk's school essay books, from 1933 (he was 15), there is a book report on "A Tale of Two Cities," an essay in an exquisite, old-fashioned serif-spangled hand about why Boys' Life is his favorite magazine, and one on the topic of good newspaper journalism. And in the left cuff of one of his tailored jackets, sewn in gold thread, is the phrase "Crepé Scole With Nellie." It refers, via a misspelling, to his tune "Crepuscule With Nellie," written for his wife, Nellie. That Monk would stash a secret phrase to himself in a hidden place says something about the hidden compartments of his character and his great affection for his wife.

"My hope is that the purchasers are the more sharing institutions and collectors," said the jazz historian Phil Schaap, who helped Guernsey's evaluate the objects. "Things tended to go more to repositories until recently. Which means, to me, the suggestion that repositories don't have the money to buy these things." He paused. "The pageantry of it, though, is pretty impressive," he said. "It's all going to be in one room."

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I saw that this morning. I'd love to take a look at some of these meetings. I'm sure it'll be expensive.

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Home movies of Coltrane shoveling snow outside his house in Philadelphia in the late 1950's.

WTF? :huh:

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Before buying.. caveat emptor

get one of the mouthpieces

scrape off residual DNA

run a sequence.. proove that the item comes from the specified musician

Buy it

rescrape

clone the DNA

do a " Boys From Brazil" environment habitat on the clones

and 20 years from now

Jazz will be healthy

or we can have an answer to all those... :" What If's..."

Edited by P.D.

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'Editor and Publisher' focuses its story on the jazz auction on 15-year old Thelonious Monk's essay on newspapers...

UP FOR AUCTION: JAZZ GREAT'S 1933 NEWSPAPER TRIBUTE

NEW YORK  Thelonious Monk may be a legendary jazz pianist, but a spokesman for the newspaper industry? Editors and publishers can not only cite Monk's support but own the actual words: His 1933 schoolboy essay on newspapers is on the block.

On Feb. 20, Guernsey's Auction House in New York will auction off hundreds of jazz artifacts -- from Benny Goodman's clarinet to writings by John Coltrane -- at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room.

The collection includes missives sent between musicians and their business associates, including a lengthy handwritten letter from Louis Armstrong "when he was going through some personal changes in his life," says Arlan Ettinger, Guernseys owner. But the most striking item is Monk's notebook from 1933, from his days at Manhattan's elite Stuyvesant High School. The handwritten essays -- composed in perfect, dainty, ornamented script -- range in topic from a book review of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" to an essay called "My Favorite Magazine." (Monk's pick: "Boys' Life.")

The real gem is a one-page, three-paragraph essay titled "Everyone Should Read Good Newspapers" from Feb. 17, 1933, when Monk was 15. Ettinger allowed E&P to take a look at it in person and, as far as we know, we're the first to copy its entire contents.

The essay begins, "Everyone should read good newspapers because it is educational, not with scandals and crimes but good educational facts." Monk then referenced The New York Times, which, he remarked, "has many kinds of news." Of the Times, Monk concludes, "I'm sure you will find something to interest yourself with."

The essay also mentions two other New York papers, the Herald Tribune and the Sun, both of which Monk labeled "good newspapers." Apart from gaining the current news, the essay suggests reading a good newspaper is enriching and should be incorporated into one's day. In fact, he advised, readers will gradually find those newspapers indispensable.

"Due to the facts mentioned above, I think it's good to make it a habit of reading good newspapers," Monk concluded.

Monk's notebook, which Ettinger says is filled with his "disparate thoughts," is loosely bound. And although the pages are yellowing with age, his crisp black penmanship is remarkably clear. "Clearly he had great intellect, and a great style," Ettinger says.

Interestingly, though Stuyvesant recognizes him with a mural in its entryway, he left school after three years. "He wasn't able to get into the school band," Ettinger says, "even though [at] that time he was an accomplished musician."

Ettinger would not estimate a likely auction price for the Monk notebook.

Another jazz great has a school-related work up for auction. John Coltrane's fifth-grade notebook offers insight into what mattered to him at the time. "He created cutout letters spelling the words Negro History," Ettinger says. But each piece has a rich backstory. "This is the auction of 1,000 stories," Ettinger says.

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Home movies of Coltrane shoveling snow outside his house in Philadelphia in the late 1950's.

WTF? :huh:

Actually, I think I would be most interested in the home movies. Things like that are wonderful.

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At $36, the price of the catalog is a bit steep, but I'm almost tempted to get one.  Lord knows that would be as close as I'd ever get to owning any of this stuff.

I'd sure be interested in finding out what rich folks wind up paying for some of these things.

Up over and out.

I think I'll bid on Bird's horn!

You want to go halfsies?

....which half do you want ;)!

The half that blows. :P

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Home movies of Coltrane shoveling snow outside his house in Philadelphia in the late 1950's.

WTF? :huh:

Actually, I think I would be most interested in the home movies. Things like that are wonderful.

As I indicated on another BB, I will be shoveling snow outside MY house in Philadelphia this weekend, and would be glad to make home video of it available for auction, in case anyone's interested. :unsure:

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The Times article mectioned home recordings of Bird from Chan Parker. I think I remember that she always wanted more money for them than any label was willing to pay. Wonder if they see distribution now.

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Brownie, my brother just sent me the Editor and Publisher link but you beat me to it. Glad I scanned the thread before posting.

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Brownie, my brother just sent me the Editor and Publisher link but you beat me to it. Glad I scanned the thread before posting.

Dan, news travel fast these days -_-

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