Lot 145 of 435:
2 early books of tribute to Jazz music, 1925-1927  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$132
$200 - $300

2 early books of tribute to Jazz music





  •  Alfred V.  Frankenstein. Syncopating Saxophones (Chicago Robert O. Ballou,1925) First Edition. Original paper over boards with lettering on spine. Lacking the Dust Jacket. 5 x 8”, 103 + 3pp. First Limited Edition, 1 of 600 copies (500 for sale), designed by Vojtech Preissig.  Illustrated with a Picasso sketch of Stravinsky and caricature drawings of Paul Whiteman and Carl Sandburg, and of Carl Van Vechten by Covarrubias..
  • Isaac Goldberg. Jazz Music / What It Is and How To Understand It ( Haldeman-Julius Little-Blue-Book 470: Girard, Kansas, copyright 1927, but a later printing) ​63pp. Original pictorial wrappers. 3.5 x 5”. Illustrated with musical notations.


Preceding the first books written entirely on Jazz, Frankenstein’s anthology, being a collection of random thoughts by a “serious” musician –  then 20 year-old clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony – has Jazz-related chapters interspersed with thoughts on Stravinsky and Brahms. Nevertheless, Frankenstein – destined to become the famed music and art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle – intended to highlight his conviction that “the Jazz Orchestra of today is a perfect thing, as perfect in its field as a large symphony orchestra”.  Not a popular opinion among American professional musicians, many of whom believed that Jazz was “corrupting” music in the United States. As one of the first musical tributes to Jazz, the book was overlooked in its day because it was a limited edition, handsomely designed by avant-garde Czech artist Vojtech Preissig

The small book by Goldberg, a prolific Yiddish playwright who would later write tomes on Tin Pan Alley and Gershwin, was an early elementary text on Jazz for the masses. While this is a much later reprint or the original printing, the book, in any edition, is one of the more uncommon titles in the Haldeman-Julius Blue Book series.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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