Charlie Parker Saxophone Draws Top Bid at Jazz Auction

Classic Arts News   Charlie Parker Saxophone Draws Top Bid at Jazz Auction
 
A saxophone that once belonged to Charlie Parker drew the highest bid at a jazz auction in New York on February 20. The saxophone, said to be the modern jazz pioneer's main instrument in the 1950s, sold for $225,000 to an anonymous collector who phoned in the winning bid.

The auction was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall and conducted by Guersey's auction house, which has been assembling a collection of hundreds of jazz artifacts for a decade, according to the New York Times.

Also among the items drawing high bids were John Coltrane's arrangement of his A Love Supreme, which sold for $110,000; and a notebook that belonged to pianist Thelonious Monk in high school and included an essay titled "Everyone Should Read Good Newspapers." The notebook sold for $60,000 to another phone bidder, who would say only that he had, like Monk, gone to Peter Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.

Representatives of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Parker's hometown, were outbid on several items that they coveted, including Parker's saxophone and the Coltrane arrangement. But the museum did buy 14 items for $64,000, including a recording of a jam session from the 1950s featuring Parker, and the saxophonist's pocket watch, according to the Kansas City Star.

Loren Schoenberg, a jazz musician, scholar, and executive director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem, bid as a private citizen and came away with two postcards written by trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

"Louis Armstrong is really the rock of my foundation as a person and as a musician, so the opportunity to have something of his really means a lot to me," Schoenberg told New York Newsday.


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