[Jazz at the Philharmonic] Fitzgerald, Ella. (1917–1996) & Smith, Paul. (1922–2013) & Middlebrooks, Wilfred. (1933–2008) & Levey, Steve. (1926–2005)
Signed deluxe oversized 1962 Jazz at the Philharmonic program, signed to two interior photographs by Ella Fitzgerald, as well as by the members of the Paul Smith Trio (Paul Smith, Wilfred Middlebrooks, and Stan Levey). Interior pages separated, with tape to interior edge throughout, else fine. 26 pp. 11 x 10.25 inches (27.9 x 26 cm.).
Organized by impresario Norman Granz, the series "Jazz at the Philharmonic" began with a concert at Los Angeles' Philharmonic Auditorium on July 2, 1944. Later known as JATP, the ever-changing group recorded and toured extensively, with Granz producing some of the first live jam session recordings to be distributed to a wide market. After several JATP concerts in Los Angeles in 1944 and 1945, Granz began producing JATP concert tours, from late fall of 1945 to 1957 in USA and Canada, and from 1952 in Europe. They featured swing and bop musicians and were among the first high-profile performances to feature racially integrated bands. In a time in which segregation still reigned, Granz was unusual in insisting on integrated audiences and equal treatment for his black and white performers. Oscar Peterson recounted how Granz once insisted that white cabdrivers take his black artists as customers while a policeman pointed a loaded pistol at his stomach. Granz was also among the first to pay white and black artists the same salary and to give them equal treatment even in minor details, such as dressing rooms.