Sunday, May 19th 4 to 5pm
Scott Wenzel from Mosaic Records The Bill Savory Collection
Scott Wenzel from Mosaic Records will talk about one of the most amazing jazz archeological discoveries of the 21st century The Bill Savory Collection.
Never before heard recordings by The Count Basie Orchestra with Lester Young, Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Albert Ammons, Benny Carter, Bobby Hackett, … the list goes on and on.
A trained musician and audio engineer, Savory served in the U.S. Navy where he developed radar technology and flew as a test pilot. But first and foremost, Savory was a music lover who single handedly captured hundreds of hours of top-shelf music off the air in the six years preceding America’s entry into World War II. By day, he recorded commercials off the air for a transcription service. But by night, Savory compiled a musical treasure chest, recording the jazz artists he loved off the radio. The live nightclub and ballroom performances he captured were longer and more creatively daring as the artists were freed from the constraints of the conventional studio.
Packed away for decades and only rumored to exist, the Savory Collection was acquired by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2010, the culmination of a 36-year quest by jazz historian Loren Schoenberg. The discovery made headlines around the world, including the front page of The New York Times.
Wenzel was approached by Loren Schoenberg of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem to help catalog and ship the recordings found in the Bill Savory Collection. The Museum and Mosaic Records were able to release a portion of these recordings after many years of negotiations with various estates of the musicians who were on these recordings. Once these recordings were decided upon for release, both Schoenberg and Wenzel arranged how the music would be released on CD.
Scott Wenzel (B. 1960) began collecting 78s while still in grammar school and continued his love of music throughout high school. He majored in Communications and Music while at Towson State University (Maryland) where he hosted a number of jazz programs over WCVT-FM. After graduation he was a DJ for WYRS-FM in Stamford, Ct. In 1987, Wenzel joined Mosaic Records and began producing boxed sets in 1999. In this role he is a three time Grammy Award nominee in the Best Historical Issue category and has won Jazz Journalist Association and Down Beat awards. He has also produced and written liner notes in addition to supplying 78s for Sony Legacy, Blue Note, Verve and Capitol. Wenzel lives in Rye, NY and also leads a 16 piece swing band and a jazz trio.
Sunday, June 2nd 4pm to 5pm
Arnold J. Smith
Ellington at Newport 1956
Special Guest Arnold J. Smith will speak about this legendary performance that took place on July 7, 1956 at the Newport Jazz Festival and was released on record by Columbia Records.
Some writer said that 1956 was the year they stopped taking Duke Ellington for granted. The Ellington '56 LP was on its way to becoming legendary. The Paul Gonzales 27 choruses solo was taking on a life of its own. As for the actual show NJF producer George Wein had told me that under no circumstances was Duke to play "the medley" and leave. Ellington told me that he was working on the Newport Suite, new to his repertoire, right up to showtime. Little did we know that it would be a 1930's warhorse, Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue would become the star of the Festival. In 1957 A teen-aged autograph hound –moi– went down to his fave haunt, Birdland, the original on Broadway near 52nd St. to have the band sign the album of the '56 Fest.
Oscar Goodstein, Birdand's manager, was a family friend, got me pass the door and up to a celebratory bandstand. The guys passed the album around. Did I mention that it was an invitation only welcome home night for Duke? The result of that fateful night is what you see.
Arnold Jay Smith, a former editor of DownBeat Magazine, publicist, blogster, professor at the New School for 26 years, now teaches at New Jersey City University since 2000.
Sunday, June 30th 4pm to 5pm
Bob Porter & Tad Richards
Listening To Prestige
Bob Porter is a record producer, writer and broadcaster in the fields of Jazz and Blues. He has worked for such prominent record labels a Prestige, Savoy and Atlantic. He has produced more than 175 albums and several hundred reissues. He has contributed to DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazz Journal (London). He is a two-time Grammy winner, was awarded the Marion McPartland Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting and is a member of the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. He currently is the host of three separate radio programs on WBGO Newark. His most recent book is Soul Jazz a history of jazz and its reception in the black community in the period from the end of World War II until the end of the Vietnam War.
James (Tad) Richards, creator of the Listening To Prestige Blog is an American writer and visual artist. He is also artistic director and former president of the Opus40 sculpture park Saugerties, New York.
His portraits of jazz musicians illustrate his most recent books,Listening to Prestige, Vols 1, 2 & 3, a history of jazz of the bebop era through listening closely to, and investigating, the recordings on one of the most important independent jazz labels Prestige Records.
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Talkin' Vinyl with Joe Conzo May 5, 2019
Discusses: Tito Puente, Machito, Ray Barretto
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