HOLY RELICS, BEYOND BELIEF (Spring 2020 Edition)

The eBay seller “jgautographs,” from whom I’ve purchased several marvels (signatures of Henry “Red” Allen, Rod Cless, Pee Wee Russell, Pete Brown, Sidney Catlett, among others) has been displaying an astonishing assortment of jazz inscriptions.  I haven’t counted, but the total identified as “jazz” comes to 213.  They range from “traditional” to “free jazz” with detours into related musical fields, with famous names side-by-side with those people whose autographs I have never seen.

As I write this (the early afternoon of March 21, 2020) three days and some hours remain.

Here is the overall link.  Theoretically, I covet them, but money and wall space are always considerations.  And collectors should step back to let other people have a chance.

The signers include Benny Carter, Betty Carter, Curtis Counce, Jimmy Woode, Herb Hall, Bennie Morton, Nat Pierce, Hot Lips Page, Rolf Ericson, Arnett Cobb, Vernon Brown, Albert Nicholas, Bobby Hackett, Vic Dickenson, Sammy Margolis, Ed Polcer, Ed Hall, Billy Kyle, Sam Donahue, Al Donahue, Max Kaminsky, Butch Miles, Gene Krupa, Ray McKinley, Earl Hines, Jack Teagarden, Arvell Shaw, Barrett Deems, Buck Clayton, Babs Gonzales, Benny Bailey, Joe Newman, Frank Wess, Pharoah Sanders, Kenny Burrell, Reggie Workman, Stanley Turrentine, Louis Prima, Wayne Shorter, Tiny Bradshaw, Harry Carney, Juan Tizol, Bea Wain, Red Rodney, Frank Socolow, Bobby Timmons, George Wettling, Roy Milton, Charlie Rouse, Donald Byrd, Kai Winding, Kenny Drew, Kenny Clarke, Steve Swallow, Shelly Manne, Frank Bunker, Charlie Shavers, Ben Pollack, Jess Stacy, Ron Carter, Bob Zurke, Jimmy Rushing, Cecil Payne, Lucky Thompson, Gary Burton, Jaki Byard, Noble Sissle, Muggsy Spanier, Don Byas, Pee Wee Russell, Slam Stewart, Hazel Scott, Ziggy Elman, Buddy Schutz, Ernie Royal, Boyd Raeburn, Dave McKenna, Claude Thornhill.

And signatures more often seen, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Hoagy Carmichael, Artie Shaw, Sidney Bechet, Gerry Mulligan, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, Wynton Marsalis,Tommy Dorsey, Oscar Peterson, Billy Eckstine, Mel Torme, Chick Corea, Count Basie.

In this grouping, there are three or four jazz-party photographs from Al White’s collection, but the rest are matted, with the signed page allied to a photograph — whether by the collector or by the seller, I don’t know.  And there seems to be only one error: “Joe Thomas” is paired with a photograph of the Lunceford tenor star, but the pairing is heralded as the trumpeter of the same name.

My head starts to swim, so I propose some appropriate music — sweet sounds at easy tempos, the better to contemplate such riches, before I share a half-dozen treasures related to musicians I revere.

Jess Stacy’s version of Bix Beiderbecke’s CANDLELIGHTS:

Harry Carney with strings, IT HAD TO BE YOU:

Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, Gene Ramey, Jo Jones, PRISONER OF LOVE:

Here are a double handful of autographs for your amazed perusal.

Bob Zurke:

Charlie Shavers, name, address, and phone number:

Lucky Thompson, 1957:

Jimmy Rushing, 1970:

Harry Carney:

Juan Tizol:

Bill Coleman:

Buck Clayton:

Hot Lips Page (authentic because of the presence of the apostrophe):

Joe Sullivan:

Don Byas:

George Wettling:

Frank Socolow:

Benny Carter (I want to see the other side of the check!):

And what is, to me, the absolute prize of this collection: Lester Young, whom, I’m told, didn’t like to write:

Here’s music to bid by — especially appropriate in those last frantic seconds when the bids mount in near hysteria:

May your happiness increase!

5 responses to “HOLY RELICS, BEYOND BELIEF (Spring 2020 Edition)

  1. DAN MORGENSTERN

    Michael, Holy relics indeed! Quite a collection—who is that guy? But above all, thanks for the Carney serenade which I listened to upon awakening, one I’d never heard though I thought I knew all Verve-Clef-Norgrans, the other I’d never seen with that cover. Well, life begins at 90! Is the pianist Strays? We did talk about Harry, yes? One of the greatest sounds in jazz and the man to go with it…. Made my day and well beyond! Love Dan PS Rod Cless autograph a special gasser. Fell in love with him via “Relaxin’ at The Touro”, my second Muggsy discovery still in Wonderful Copenhagen. One of the most perfect of clarinet solos, like to hear back to back with Fazola on “Five Point Blues.” May even be in same key….

    >

  2. We DID talk about Willie Cook, Duke, and Hodges (tomatoes!) but not about Harry. So I will hold you to it when the air is clear.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this with your JazzLives community. The archive we are currently selling is astounding and we have many more pieces that will be up for auction in the coming weeks! My best to you and the JazzLives community! Regards, Jared Gendron – JG Autographs, Inc. President

  4. Pingback: THE TREASURE CHEST REOPENS, or HOLY RELICS, CONTINUED | JAZZ LIVES

  5. Mark Voitenko

    I just took Dan Morgenstern’s indirect suggestion and listened on YouTube to Muggsy Spanier’s “Relaxin’ at the Touro,” and Bob Crosby’s Bob Cats’ “Five Point Blues,” featuring Irving Fazola. Both wonderful recordings. I often forget just how good Crosby’s band was. Certainly they were among the jazziest bands of the Swing Era. Fazola absolutely wailed on that recording. And that was a big session that day for the Bob Cats, when “Palesteena” and “Slow Mood” were also set down.

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