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January 24, 2005

Own Charlie Parker's Saxophone

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Or Benny Goodman's clarinet, John Coltrane's soprano and tenor saxophones, or Gerry Mulligan's baritone.

Or perhaps you'd prefer a 27-page letter from Louis Armstrong to his manager, or one of Ornette Coleman's notebooks (above), filled with his practice exercises.

How about relaxing in Thelonius Monk's tailored jacket (below)?

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Or reading Monk's high school book reports while you sit quietly in your most comfortable chair?

No?

Still not tempted?

How about the original sheet-music sketches for Coltrane's 1964 suite "A Love Supreme," among the most important works in jazz - complete with explicit notes and markings in Coltrane's hand?

They've never been seen before, even by scholars.

All this - and more - can be yours.

Just give the Guernsey's auctioneer more than anyone else is willing to pay on Sunday, February 20 at the Allen Room in Jazz, at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall in New York, and it's all yours.

You can look at these and all the other lots at previews on February 18 and 19.

The greatest jazz treasures ever assembled will go on the block the next day.

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Make sure you bring plenty of money, though; one of Parker's saxophones sold at auction in 1995 for $140,000.

The Smithsonian, which numbers amongst its thousands of jazz artifacts Lionel Hampton's vibraphone and Ella Fitzgerald's entire archive, can't begin to afford to bid.

They're hoping for public-spirited types to buy the items, then give or loan them to the museum.

Ben Ratliff wrote at length about the auction in last Thursday's New York Times.

January 24, 2005 at 04:01 AM | Permalink


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