Skip to comments.Museum Acquires Storied Trove of Performances by Jazz Greats
Posted on 08/20/2010 10:51:11 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of the Savory Collection. Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory... only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.
After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever... (it) contains examples of underappreciated musicians playing at peak creative levels not heard anywhere else...
...many of the broadcasts from nightclubs and ballrooms that Mr. Savory recorded contain more relaxed and free-flowing versions of hit songs originally recorded in the studio....
...This has been on my mind for 30 years, Mr. Schoenberg said. I cultivated and pestered Bill Savory, who never let me hear a damn thing and wouldnt even tell me what was in the collection besides Benny Goodman, for whom Mr. Schoenberg, 52, used to work.
...25% are in excellent shape, ...half are compromised but salvageable, and 25% are in really bad condition, of which perhaps 5% are in such a state that they will tolerate only one play before starting to flake.
...the museum planned to make as much as possible of the Savory collection publicly available at its Harlem home and eventually online. But the copyright status of the recorded material is complicated, which could inhibit plans to share the music. While the museum has title to Mr. Savorys discs as physical objects, the same cannot be said of the music on the discs...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
70 year old bootlegs of high importance and they are left to wither on the vine.
William Shakespeare’s work only saw print during his lifetime through bootleg transcriptions compiled by audience members. His works could have been lost to the ages.
It’s one thing to compete commercial for someone’s work while it is contemporary and the artist is alive, but 70 years on, these should be Public Domain songs.
Once treasures like these are deposited in a museum, they invariably never again see the light of day. It would have been preferable had Savory’s son sold them to serious, individual collectors who would appreciate them, listen to them and, most important of all, keep them in circulation. Now, they’ll probably “molder” again - - this time in crates at the National Jazz Museum.
The problem is that there is no funded "less copyright holding years" special interest groups out there.
Thanks a fool in paradise.
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The only thing better than this would be to discover a trove of heretofore unknown filmed performances of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Nighthawk, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Michael Bloomfield, and Albert King in their early years . . .
But speaking of vintage guitars, I'd love to know the whereabouts of . . .
As far as I know, the guitar ended up being used by Heat singer Bob (The Bear) Hite after Wilson's death in 1970, but Hite himself died a decade later and I haven't seen the guitar since . . .
I'd also love to know the whereabouts of the instrument that probably did the most to convinced Gibson to return the Les Paul to production in 1968 to stay---Mike Bloomfield's 1959 Standard, which he abandoned in Canada, sort of. (He ended a stand early and the club owner kept the guitar as compensation, but the guitar may have taken quite a journey afterward . . . Bloomfield actually swapped a '54 goldtop similar to Alan Wilson's plus $100 to a guitar tech for the '59 model, in late 1966 or early 1967 after he left the Butterfield Blues Band . . .)
I don't dare argue the detail about *Lucille* as any of the versions are quite wonderful.
I don't dare argue the detail about *Lucille* as any of the versions are quite wonderful.With apologies to legendary Hell's Angel Sonny Barger (of all people!), "All the bullshit---hell, ain't the truth good enough for 'em?"
This is the problem with records of this type. It is why these discs need to be transcribed as soon as possible by someone who really knows what they are doing.
You're gonna give a lot of money just to hear someone call my name