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Steinway Model B Grand Piano

Rudy Van Gelder acquired this now-famous piano through a classified ad in the New York Times. The previous owners were forced to sell the nearly-new piano for a loss, and Van Gelder was in the fortunate position to take advantage of the circumstances (Sickler et al., 2011). With a serial number suggesting it was manufactured in late 1954, it was likely in the Hackensack living room no later than 1955 and is still being utilized for sessions at the Englewood Cliffs studio today.

Just about every legendary jazz pianist has played this piano, from Herbie Hancock to McCoy Tyner — save Cecil Taylor, who Van Gelder refused to let play this piano out of fear that he would damage it. The piano’s cover has light engravings on it from the Hackensack years. One day, Thelonious Monk was writing a letter on top of the piano, and he was pressing so hard that his handwriting became forever engraved into the top of the piano — Rudy was furious at Monk for the oversight.

Hammond C3 Organ with Matching Leslie Speaker

Also legendary, Van Gelder acquired this organ from Savoy producer Ozzie Cadena around the time he moved to Englewood Cliffs. Again, just about every legendary jazz organist has played it, from Jimmy Smith to Larry Young.

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