Original Vintage Concert Program, Jazz At The Philharmonic, Gaumont State Cinema, Kilburn [London], March 8, 1953, SIGNED by tenor saxophonists, Lester Young and Flip Phillips, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, alto saxophonist Willie Smith, guitarist Barney Kessel and drummer J.C. Heard; the original and equally uncommon concert handbill is laid in. A very scarce piece of JATP ephemera, as noted on the front wrap, the program was issued only for a one day concert presentation, a UK charity gig on March 8, 1953, to raise funds for victims of a devastating flood, which had occurred in the winter of that year. This was big news for UK jazz fans as noted on the first program page, "being the first appearance of an American Jazz group in Britain for eighteen years"; also important because impresario Norman Granz had been trying unsuccessfully to bring the JATP package to England for a long time; although he had begun running successful tours throughout Europe in 1952, the British Musicians’ Union blocked all his attempts to bring the tour to England, as they lobbied doggedly for reciprocal musician exchanges with the US. The only exception made was for this charity benefit, and despite Granz’s formidable will and aggressive business practices, it wouldn’t be until 1958 that the ban was lifted and the JATP was allowed to mount a full tour of England. In pictorial wraps, with David Stone Martin illustration to front wrap, tightly bound, touch of age toning to pages and mild rubbing to wraps, else, near fine, clean and unmarked. Most of the signatures are near fine, with Pres and Phillips’ autographs signed with a fine point pen; Kessel and Heard’s autographs appear to be in pencil and though legible, are somewhat faint & indistinct, so good, only.
Very scarce signed vintage jazz program with the original hand bill, in collectible condition. J1851