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    Thelonious Monk 1949 Harlem, New York Concert Poster An original cardboard advertising window card for jazz great Thelonious Monk and His New Sextet playing at the Rockland Palace Ballroom in Harlem, Manhattan, NYC on Saturday night, October 1, 1949.

    Early jazz concert posters, ranging from post-World War II up through the end of the 1950's, are just very hard to come by. You see a fair amount of WWII-era big band window cards by the likes of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, but not often from the great black musicians in the period that followed, from 1945-1960, including Miles, Ella, Louis, Count, Billie, Dizzy and, yes, Thelonious. So right there, this poster's part of a rare class.

    What's remarkable about the timing of this particular poster is that it's right in the middle of Monk's short stint from 1947-1952 as a bandleader on Blue Note Records, completely the stuff of legend. All his music was released then as 78 RPM singles. But as Monk's reputation and then legend grew, these sides were compiled and re-compiled in later years to form one of the most respected bodies of work in all of jazz.

    And then add in the fact that this has a wickedly cool, highly stylized design using the unusual poster color of mint green, and you have a traffic-stopping conversation piece. Look at the variance in type fonts... it's just crazy. Just the drawing of Monk along with "Tickets $1.50 In Advance" underneath his goatee stands as awesome art. And you wanna talk ticket locations? How about "Reservations" instead, with four individuals listed, their addresses and phone numbers. Even the poster was printed right there in Harlem, by Prince & Maxwell. Talk about a small, insular jazz community!

    Monk was a keyboard virtuoso and pioneer in the be-bop style, and a prolific composer, including the standards "'Round Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser." He remains the second most recorded composer in jazz after Duke Ellington. He's also one of only five jazz musicians to ever grace the cover of Time magazine.

    This window card measures 14 x 22" and grades to Very Good Plus, following restoration that filled in and repaired small missing pieces in the upper left margins and especially the lower right margins, which had some bug chews and small missing pieces which touched a little into the black area. Still present is general overall toning, and staple holes in the center under "Serenaders." Other staple and tack holes were eliminated in the light restoration process.

    It's not too often one wants to go out on a limb and say "You'll never see another one," but if there was ever a candidate for that, this would be it. One veteran observer saw this poster for the first time and said with a big smile, "Now that's just stupid cool." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    16th-17th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,436

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    Sold on Nov 17, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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    Heritage helped us feel we served the memory of our uncle with respect for his life's work and Heritage reflected that respect. You make a great team and gave us all a most memorable experience. We hope to work with you again some time in the future.
    C., A., L., & H. G.,
    Northport, NY
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