The Saxophone Was Still Cool
Lacy, 69, Who Popularized the Soprano Saxophone, Dies
saxophone sells in Paris for over $140,000
Deseret News (Salt Lake City) Dec
Jazz great Sidney Bechet's soprano saxophone sold at auction
in Paris for more than $140,000.
The instrument, which Bechet used to compose many of his standards,
inspired the highest bid among 32 pieces up for sale at the Hotel
Drouot auction house on Wednesday. The total selling price, including
fees, was $140,900, the auction house said.
A handwritten love letter from the New Orleans jazzman to his wife,
Jacqueline, sold for $2,817. Golden cuff links decorated with the
initials "SB" went for $2,957.
Daniel Bechet, a drummer who lives in France, organized the auction
to finance a foundation dedicated to his father's memory in the
south of France. Born in New Orleans in 1897, the clarinet and saxophone
player died in France in 1959.
PARKER'S SAXOPHONE FETCHES
THOUSANDS AT AUCTION
A saxophone belonging to late musician
CHARLIE PARKER has fetched $261,750 (GBP140,332) at auction in
Parker's alto sax was sold to the highest bidder at the jazz memorabilia
auction at the city's Time Warner Centre yesterday (20FEB05).
The instrument had been hidden away by Parker's widow for 50 years
following his death at the age of 34 in 1955.
Other items which were bought under the hammer include BENNY GOODMAN's
clarinet and DIZZY GILLESPIE's trumpet, which sold for $25,000
(GBP13,403) and $31,000 (GBP16,620) respectively.
Organiser ARLAN ETTINGER says, "A lot of this has never been
seen before and it comes from the greatest provenance you can
have - it never left the family."
However, a saxophone owned by JOHN COLTRANE was withdrawn from
the auction after it failed to making an opening bid of $500,000
sold for sax
A musician in Moldova has gone to an extraordinary length
to get his career started - by selling his kidney to afford a saxophone.
Sergiu, 23 - who as a professional musician has toured parts of
Europe - sold the kidney to a Turkish hospital for $10,000 (£5,800).
He has since been able to afford the instruments to further his
career in the poverty-stricken eastern European country.
"This is my only profession. All I know is to make music," Sergiu
told the BBC's Romanian service.
"I don't know anything else. I can't do anything else, and my
future depends on these instruments I have," he said.
"They are my daily bread."
Moldova has one of the highest organ-trafficking rates in the world,
and the problem is so great the government is currently working
on a new penal code to provide a legal basis to fight the illicit
Some 80% of Moldova's population live below the poverty line and
there is a constant flow of people heading to Turkey, where organs
are often sold to Israelis.
Sergiu said selling the kidney was the only way he had been able
to forge a career.
"I was poor - I was not able to perform, because I didn't have
an instrument," he said.
"I didn't have a house - I used to rent. I didn't have any clothes.
I didn't have proper shoes, like other musicians." After his orchestra
toured France, Sergiu returned home and made his decision that to
go further, he needed a new instrument.
He heard a "rumour" that an Istanbul clinic was offering cash
for kidneys - and so he left.
Sergiu said he called a Turkish friend who he met at an international
festival, and asked him to find out more information.
"He found out and called me after two weeks, and said, 'it is possible,
"I bought a return ticket. I went there, he met me at the airport.
I went with him to the clinic, and he introduced me to a man at
"He made some tests. Then I was placed in a hotel and I stayed
"The next day, some solicitors came and we wrote the official papers
which said I agreed to donate my kidney.
" Sergiu said he was sent to the clinic in the afternoon, and had
the operation later that evening.
"I woke up the next morning. I stayed there one week. "After that,
and old man - who took me to the airport - gave me $10,000 in an
"I counted the money, I put it in my pocket, I got on to the plane,
and went home.
"Having a kidney removed does not usually prove damaging to people
in good health, but it carries serious long-term health risks.
In particular, it may prove fatal should problems develop with
the one remaining kidney.
"Sometimes I'm frightened - I'm afraid I might die," Sergiu stated.
"But it doesn't hurt. I don't have any problems."
And he added he would not change his decision.
"I don't see where else I could have got the money from. My mother
doesn't help me, nobody else could help me," he said.
"To live like I used to live, with nothing to eat, with no instruments
- to have an audition and not be able to go... all these things
are now in the past, as if they have never existed.
"All these problems with the money, the instruments, are gone."