Gretsch 20/12/14" Drum Set - Mel Lewis' Burgundy Sparkle
SORRY, THIS SET IS NOW SOLD. THIS DRUM SET IS IN THE MUSEUM AT OUR MANHATTAN STORE. This is truly a holy grail. It is beyond belief that this set has survived and that it is now back home in Manhattan! This drumset is the 8x12, 14x14, 14x20 used by Mel Lewis throughout the 60s and beyond. It is the set that he had when the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band was formed and Mel used this set on the first 5 albums and played the set live with the group. This is truly one of the rarest sets in the world, and also one of historic significance. This set has wonderful documentation including a letter from Mel to Syd Levin, who is the person who acquired the set when Mel sold it. Mel later indicated to Syd that he kept the snare drum from the set since he liked the sound so much. Syd Levin was a British drummer who was also a journalist who wrote record reviews for Jazz Journal Magazine. He knew Mel and in fact often reviewed Mel's recordings. In addition to Mel's letter there is also very detailed documentation from Synd and all owners up to the present. The original documentation will be provided to the new owner, as well as our opinion of authenticity as well. This is jazz drumming history. Call Steve for more information at 630-865-6849. BELOW IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE HAND WRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTER FROM MEL TO SYD LEVIN DATED MARCH 21, 1981:
...."Also learned that you bought my old Gretsch burgundy drum kit. That is the last of the old "Brooklyn" Gretsch and a very good outfit. It also has some history as it was the drums I had when we started the band in 1965 and it is on the first 5 albums we recorded. Use them in good health and all".....
Ownership history of this set:
Early 1960s - 1981 Mel Lewis
1981 - 1993 Syd Levin (England)
1993 - 2007 Eric Ford (England)
2007 - 2008 Garry Allcock (England)