Exceptionally rare vintage signature of Theodore ‘Fats’ Navarro, signed at age 20, in bold blue fountain pen, “Theodore Navarro, Trp [trumpet],” on a manila 5.75 x 4.25 album page. Navarro has signed the page along with bandleader Andy Kirk, who inscribed, “To Dot, With best of good wishes,” and six other members of Kirk’s band, each in black or blue fountain pen: Johnny Young (Pianist), Tony Jenkins (Vocalist), Reuben Phillips (alto sax), John Harrington (Sax), Harry Lamson (trpt), and Robert Miff Murray (Trom.) The band’s co-trumpeter, Howard McGhee, who is said to have influenced ‘Fats’ in the modern sound of bebop, has also signed and inscribed on the reverse. ‘Fat’s autograph was acquired by a fan named Dot at the Tune Town Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 7, 1944, a date which the collector has written on the McGhee side. In fine condition, Navarro’s side remains quite clean (including his unaffected bold signature) with a red pen mark towards the top left affecting nothing; the McGhee side has some smudging. Considered by many to be the ultimate bebop trumpet player, ‘Fats’ struggled with drug addiction and died in 1950, at the age of 26. An extraordinary find, this rare bebop autograph is one of only three known to exist. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
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