The '30s, Unearthed
By now you may have seen the New York Times article reporting a significant jazz find: hours and hours of late-1930s radio broadcasts featuring live performances by Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, and other swing-era greats.
Made by William Savory, an engineer, jazz lover, and Goodman fanatic, the recordings were recently sold by Savory's son to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
- You can listen to some clips from the collection here, as well as hear Hawkins in 1940 taking an extended, before-its-time solo on his legendary vehicle "Body and Soul," Young propelling with exuberant grace through "Tea for Two," and Teddy Wilson doing a duet of "Lady Be Good" with Goodman-with Wilson on harpischord instead of piano.
More Where That Came From
Now it turns out we may get to hear much more than a few clips. According to a follow-up article in today's Times, the Museum is discussing a possible CD release of some of the music with esteemed jazz-reissue label Mosaic Records (a potential project somewhat reminiscent of Mosaic's historic Charlie Parker Dean Benedetti box).
Doug Pomeroy, an audio restoration wizard, is digitizing the recordings for the museum. Given Loren Schoenberg's involvement as head of the Museum who brought the collection to New York, his relationship with Goodman (who's featured prominently in the collection), and his superlative past work for Mosaic, he would seem like a natural to do the booklet for a Savory set. There are inherently difficult copyright issues, but Schoenberg tells the Times Mosaic thinks they can be resolved.
Savory! What a perfect name for what might come to pass if Mosaic is able to pull off such a release.
- Ben Ratliff discusses the 1940 broadcast of Coleman Hawkins playing "Body and Soul"
- You can hear an example of Doug Pomeroy's clean-up mastery on the Times clip page and click on the Cab Calloway "original" and "remastered."