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Re: [ARSCLIST] Jazz Loft to see the light of day...

WOW! I can't begin to even imagine the legal and moral implications of thousands of hours of secret recordings made of professional musicians. Are the musicians, their heirs, and their record companies being contacted and PAID?????? I hate to put a fly in the ointment, but I would hate to see WNYC go broke from the potential lawsuits if these recordings are broadcast without authorization.

Mike Biel mbiel@xxxxxxxxx

Dave Nolan wrote:
...from a WNYC (NY Public Radio) e-mail today:


We all know the extraordinary work of Sara Fishko - from The Fishko Files to her hour-long specials to her music hosting. Now add The Jazz Loft.
Celebrated photographer Eugene Smith lived and worked in a loft in the Flower District (6th Avenue and the 20s) in the late 50s. While the photographs Smith made during that period are well known it was not until well after his death that Sam Stephenson, a writer and Smith specialist based at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, discovered that Smith had wired the loft with microphones and tape recorders. The result was 4000 hours of open reel recordings...uncatalogued but featuring the musicians, artists, and thinkers who spent time and worked in the loft.
Among those working in the Loft were Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, Teddy Charles, Phil Woods and a hundred others at least. The tapes include primary source recordings of Thelonious Monk working out the arrangements for the famous Town Hall Concert in 1959 -- a huge historical/musical discovery. Smith also recorded everyday life in the loft: traffic outside, cats meowing, long, searching conversations among it's inhabitants, encounters with local cops. The quality of the material is remarkably good. The Jazz Loft archive is still being digitized at Duke University in North Carolina. This archive makes possible an unprecedented, candid acquaintance with a particular kind of urban life in mid-century. It comes as no surprise to any of us that when Sam Stephenson thought about who would make radio and other media out of this, he contacted Sara Fishko. And that is how the Jazz Loft became a WNYC project.
WNYC is joining CDS and other cultural institutions in making a major project out of this discovery, which is of interest to general audiences and jazz scholars alike. Sam Stephenson is writing the Jazz Loft book, to be published by Knopf in late'09 or early 10; 175 Eugene Smith photos from inside and outside the Loft go on exhibition at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts in Feb. of '10; and the Jazz Loft Radio Series -- 10 segments and 2 or 3 stand-alone programs -- start airing during that period to coincide with the other elements of the project. The series will be the first hearing of any amount of this tape by the general public and will focus on some of the remarkable revelations of the archive, much of which has remained unopened since Smith stopped taping in the mid-1960's. Sara has the cooperation of CDS; many of the stellar jazz players who jammed at the Loft and who are still with us with memories in tact; as well as some of America's leading jazz scholars and cultural thinkers. Sara will be juggling the Jazz Loft project with some number of Fishko Files for the next many months, along with her associate producer Noel Black. Julie Burstein is working as Sara's Editor; Limor Tomer is working on the February concerts; and Noreen O'Loughlin and Chris McKenna are dreaming big digitial dreams for the content.

Jazz Loft is now in production and as its realization gets closer we'll be playing audio samples and making visual material available for you to enjoy. We intend for you to meet Sam Stephenson, see Smith's photos, and hear the story of the tapes in the coming months.

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