Between 1950 and 1955, in 1953, Parker performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, joined by Gillespie, Mingus, Bud Powell and Max Roach. Unfortunately, the concert clashed with a televised heavyweight boxing match between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott, so it was poorly attended. Mingus recorded the concert, resulting in the album Jazz at Massey Hall. At this concert, Parker played a plastic Grafton saxophone.At this point in his career he was experimenting with new sounds and materials. Parker himself explained the purpose of the plastic saxophone in a May 9, 1953 broadcast from Birdland and did so again in a subsequent May 1953 broadcast.
Parker is known to have played several saxophones, including the Conn 6M, the Martin Handicraft and Selmer Model 22. Parker is also known to have performed with a King “Super 20” saxophone. Parker’s King Super 20 saxophone was made specially for him in 1947.
The image is by artist Paula Kotis who grew up in New York City, and graduated from Hunter College in 1943.Ms. Kotis had numerous exhibitions at the Schoolhouse Gallery, a major retrospective at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 2010, and exhibitions at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (2001), and the Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery in New York City (2000). Her work can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and The Provincetown Art Association and Museum.