[New York City?]: [circa 1951]. 35 loose black and white photographs measuring 3½” x 3½”. Generally near fine or better.
This is a collection of vernacular photographs featuring the Cecil Young Quartet, an integrated jazz band. Young was a pianist from New Haven, Connecticut who had worked some New York City clubs with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. After his last performance at the Palomar Theater in Seattle in 1950, his band broke up but he landed another job at the New Chinatown nightclub. The reconstituted band became a regional hit, which led to a record contract and a national tour in 1951.
A few of the images are posed shots, but most are creative, playful and alive. Several show only Cecil, including one with a huge bottle of vodka in the foreground. 13 photos exclusively feature Young's tenor saxophonist and bongos player, Gerald Brashear, in giddy and contemplative poses. Prior to joining Young, Brashear played with Ray Charles while Charles was in Seattle from 1948-1950. Other images show the other members of the quartet: drummer Jimmie Rodgers and white bassist Traff Hubert. Of particular note are the four photos that depict Sarah Vaughan, winner of four Grammys as well as a lifetime achievement Grammy. Young's band finished their 1951 tour opening for Vaughn at the Birdland Jazz Club, hence our attribution of date and place.
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