Please join us on April 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM when the Institute of Jazz Studies presents a Research Roundtable entitled: The Making of The Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars by Scott Wenzel and Ricky Riccardi.
Scott Wenzel and Ricky Riccardi will go through the trials and tribulations of getting the licensing, finding original sources, engineering and correcting the many discographical errors involved with this Mosaic project of Armstrong live recordings from 1947 through 1958. Riccardi will begin the talk by recounting his very comical presentation of how he, for 5 years or so, begged Wenzel to release this music on Mosaic. There will be a number of interesting visual and audio examples.
Scott Wenzel is a record producer for the jazz label Mosaic Records which specializes in re-issues on both LP and CD. Born and raised in Rye, NY, Scott began his love of music at an early age and by the time he was 5 he was fascinated with records and began to collect 78s of any genre. As a pre-teen he briefly studied piano and then switched to clarinet and eventually added alto saxophone to his studies. After graduation from college, Wenzel became a DJ with the full time jazz station WYRS (later to become WJAZ) in Stamford, Ct. from 1984-1990. It was while reading a NY Times record review on a Mosaic set of Sidney Bechet's Blue Note recordings, that Scott called and asked the label's owners Charlie Lourie and Michael Cuscuna if there were any job positions available and in 1987 he became this mail-order company's fourth full time employee, eventually becoming one of their reissue producers. Wenzel is also a Grammy Award nominee in the Best Historical Issue category for the production of three sets. He has also been nominated for a number of Jazz Journalist Association awards and has won in the Best Historical Boxed Set category. He was one of the consultants on the PBS documentary Ken Burns Jazz and has written liner notes for various CDs.
Ricky Riccardi is the archivist at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens and a foremost Louis Armstrong scholar. He is a jazz pianist and the author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years. After graduating from high school in 1999, Riccardi attended Ocean County College for two years. “Just using books, magazines, liner notes and other materials in my own collection, I wrote 125 pages on Armstrong’s later years…I also became editor-in-chief of the OCC weekly newspaper and gave myself a jazz column, winning a few statewide awards for articles about Armstrong." After graduating from Ocean County College, Riccardi earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers University and his Master’s degree in jazz history in 2005. His Master’s thesis on Louis Armstrong’s later years became the basis for his book. 2009 turned out to be a pivotal year for Ricky Riccardi. The Louis Armstrong House Museum was looking for an archivist to work on a two-year grant specifically to preserve, arrange and catalog the monumental Jack Bradley Collection that consisted of mostly Louis Armstrong artifacts. He was hired for the grant and was retained after the grant period was over. Riccardi wrote the liner notes and assisted Scott Wenzel in the production of Mosaic’s The Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars.