Text Box: JAZZ autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541

 

Price: $175.00

VERY GOOD CONDITION

DIZZY GILLESPIE - JAZZ TRUMPETER

Autographed 8” x 10” photograph of the jazz trumpeter, innovator and composer c. 1955.  Gillespie writes, Thanks for asking, above his name.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (1917 - 1993) remains a true American jazz legend.  Second to Loui Armstrong, perhaps even more influential in jazz with his innovation to the trumpet and the creation of the bebop and modern jazz movements.

Gillespie grew up like many of his contemporaries the son of a jazz musician.  He picked up the trumpet and also taught himself the cornet and trombone.  Playing in several local bands in Philadelphia, Gillespie moved to New York City in 1937, auditioning with a number of bands and finally settling on Ted Hill’s Big Band.  After a European tour, he joined Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultan’s and a pioneering Cuban group, Alberto Socarras Band which would become more important to him in later years.  In 1939, Cab Calloway hired him for his big band at the Cotton Club.  He began to tinker with the combination of Latin Music with jazz at that point, one result was “A Night in Tunisia”.  In 1940, Dizzy met Charlie Parker in Kansas City and started playing in jam sessions with Parker in New York City.  Gillespie and Calloway fought regularly towards the end of 1940 and Cab fired him early in 1941.  He began working with some of the older names in the business like Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter and Charlie Burnet as regular work.  Meanwhile with Parker and Thelonius Monk and a few others they began to develop a more complex jazz which was named “Bebop” after one Gillespie’s first songs written in that style. A recording strike stopped that jazz from being recorded, so it could only be heard, largely in jazz clubs until 1944 when the strike was over. 

In 1953, Gillespie while rehearsing laid his trumpet on a stand and one of the other musicians fell, knocking the trumpet off the stand and landed on it bending the bell back at a 45 degree angle.  For a laugh Gillespie tried it out and immediately liked the sound as it took it in an arc which could be easily heard in the back of the hall.  The trumpet became his signature and thereafter he had all of his “silver bell” trumpets made with the special bend and custom cases made for their transport.  Based upon photographs of the time, we believe this heavily engraved trumpet is the first bent silver bell production trumpet Gillespie actually used. 

This photograph from the bluesman Clyde Peterson collection, were stored in looseleaf notebooks with 3 hold punch plastics, so unfortunately it bears the punch holes to the left border, else near mint condition.  That said, authentic autographed photographs of Gillespie from this period are uncommon.