Monday, August 16, 2010

The Savory Collection

Lost and found: audio engineer and jazz fan William Savory’s recordings of late-1930s radio broadcasts have a new home at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. The New York Times has a story, a video feature, and seven audio samples. The highlight among them: Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Fats Waller putting together a blues. Says the announcer, “This oughta be good.” It’s great.

comments: 3

Adair said...

What a find. Mr. Savory himself sounds fascinating. It seems, though, that it will be quite a while before copyright issues are resolved and the recordings become available commercially. I am especially curious about the Coleman Hawkins "Body and Soul" performance that goes modal toward the end...(Have you ever heard Hawkins playing his sax solo, "Picasso"? Breathtaking!There is nothing like it an all of music!)

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, “Picasso” is great. I don't know what the Times means by “modal”: in the last-chorus excerpt online, Hawkins is following the tune’s changes.

The copyright questions here suggest to me some of the genuine problems with current practice: who can be said to own the rights to a seventy-two-year-old collectively improvised blues? (I’m thinking of the Armstrong-Teagarden-Waller performance.) The musicians’ estates? A perhaps-defunct radio station? But thank goodness William Savory was “downloading” before there was downloading.

shaun said...

i hope they do release this stuff if not then they might as well put it back in storage cuz this is meant for people to hear and enjoy i dont see why someone should really care about copyright issues i mean come on this stuff is from the late 1930s and were in 2011 geez !! everyone that played on the recordings and alot of the ppl who heard em on their radios then are deceased besides isnt this stuff considered public domain anyway !! leave it to corporate greed though to ruin a good thing !!