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Offered here is an interesting postcard from the editorial offices of Downbeat Magazine. The postcard was typed, signed and sent by associate editor of Downbeat and famed jazz historian Nat Hentoff in 1956.
Mr. Hentoff has signed in green ink.
The card was sent to Gallery Seventy-Five on 30 East 75th Street in NYC, regarding a painting which apparently melded the image of Christ and jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. Mr. Hentoff has written the following:
“thanks very much for the picture of the de mejo-christ-brubeck painting. would it be possible to have three more – i’d like to send one to brubeck and two to european magazines i write for.
Mr. Hentoff has also X’d out the older preprinted Downbeat office address on 42nd Street, and typed in the address current to 1956 which was on Lexington Avenue.
The postcard is postmarked December 20, 1956 and was mailed with a 3 cent stamp. The cancellation stamp states MAIL EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS.
The card measures 5.25 x 3.25” and is in very good condition, showing only minor wear.
The following is from the All Music Guide:
One of the top jazz writers of the 1950s, Nat Hentoff's insightful chapters on Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk in his classic book The Jazz Life are quite detailed and memorable. Hentoff attended Northeastern University and Harvard in the 1940s, had a radio show on WMEX in Boston (1944-53) and was inspired by the local Boston area jazz scene. In addition to The Jazz Life, Hentoff co-edited Hear Me Talkin' To Ya with Nat Shapiro (the book told the history of jazz up to the mid-1950s through the words of jazz's greatest players), he co-edited Jazz with Albert McCarthy, wrote The Jazz Makers, during 1953-57 was the associate editor of Down Beat and was coeditor of the short-lived Jazz Review (1958-61). Hentoff founded and ran the Candid label during 1960-61. During the company's brief existence, Hentoff produced important sessions by quite a few artists including Charles Mingus, Phil Woods ("The Right of Swing"), Benny Bailey, Otis Spann, Buell Neidlinger (featuring Cecil Taylor) and Abbey Lincoln. After the early '60s, Nat Hentoff largely drifted away from jazz, writing about social and political issues. He has on an occasional basis during the past three decades penned liner notes for such diverse artists as David Murray and Teresa Brewer.
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