Friday, April 26, 2013

Burt Goldblatt Photos on Ebay

Amazing Photos/Amazing Prices 
Recently, a dude in Providence, Rhode Island, put up several photos he had from the collection of the late jazz-session photographer and album-cover designer, Burt Goldblatt.   I found them all very interesting but especially since I collect anything having to do with the Prez there were three I really wanted badly, two proof sheets of Prez blowing and one a photo of Prez with Buck Clayton and Jack Teagarden blowing at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.  Several others, including two of Billy Strayhorn and two headshots of Duke, I was ready to go after in case I didn't get the Prezes.

Luckily I stood steadfast with my bidding and won the first Prez proof sheet, a contact sheet showing Prez blowing though in two shots he's standing with Jimmy Rushing.

The second Prez proof sheet evidently found by a new audience, and was immediately swept up out of my price range, ending going for $202.00.  Disappointed, I decided, dammit, I was going to get the Prez at Newport no matter what it cost me and I threw a substantially high maximum bid on it and in the meantime noticed that the Duke headshots weren't attracting much attention at all and one was closing at $20 and the other one, the one I decided I really wanted, was closing at a measly $12.  Obviously, shots of Duke aren't very well appreciated.  I ended up getting a head shot of Duke, an unusual one to boot, for $14.00.

In the meantime, the Prez at Newport was closing and I still had it, even though it was rising in bids up close to my maximum.  Finally it closed and I won it.

Others this guy had for sale included a great shot of Ray Nance practicing his violin backstage somewhere that I let get away for a lousy $9.00.  There was a great old shot of Paul Chambers (Mr. P.C.) that I was going to bid on but just as I did, the bidding shot it up to over $100 so I bailed out.

All in all, this dude from Providence cleaned up pretty damn good.  A couple of Miles Davis proof sheets sold for around $250 each.  Those shots of Billy Strayhorn eventually sold for $150 and $180.  Two great photos of John Coltrane topped $300 each (I had dropped out on these at $100).  A shot of James P. Johnson with Mezz Mezzrow sold for way over $100.  A shot of 52nd Street sold for a reasonable $50.  A couple of Dizzy Gillespie shots went reasonably, too, one for a mere $16.00.  But the surprise of the show turned out to be a photo of the blues pianist and singer, Peter Chatmon, better known as Memphis Slim.  This photo, who I as a blues aficianado figured wouldn't sell for much at all ended up selling for over $1,000.

And the above is the Goldblatt "Prez" photo I now own: it's Prez blowing on stage at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival with Jack Teagarden (weird, huh?), and Buck Clayton.  Down in the far bottom right hand corner is Papa Jo Jones playing drums.  This now hangs on my jazz wall.
The above shows my jazz wall (that also includes a photograph of Charles E. Ives; and why not?) that currently contains 36 photographs (both silver gels and promotional photos) of my jazz and blues heroes and mentors.

Peter Pounder
(not his real name)