1025 compact discs remaining

smith jazz loft scans nov 07 073

The process of transferring and preserving Gene Smith’s 1740 loft tapes resulted in 5089 compact discs of recorded material.  Jazz Loft Project Research Associate Dan Partridge has been listening to these cd’s since 2003.  This week he counted the ones he hasn’t heard, yet.  The number is 1025.  So, he’s 4/5 done hearing everything.  When human history ends Dan will be the only person to have heard every one of Smith’s tapes.  Not even Smith heard it all.  Sometimes Smith turned on the recorder and left the room, or left the building.  Duke University should give Dan an honorary PhD when he’s done.

Dan gets to hear Monk and Don Cherry and Alice Coltrane and Zoot Sims and Paul Bley, stuff nobody’s ever heard before.  Yesterday he said he heard Smith’s cat Tabun birthing kittens.  Nobody’s ever heard that.  In the photo above, we aren’t sure which of Smith’s cats that is.  It doesn’t look full grown to me.  It could be a young Tabun, or one of Tabun’s kittens grown up as a teenager.  Or it could be a young Pending, or Brunhilda, or Tiger, or Quasimodo, or Al Most.  More research is required to get to the bottom of it.  When the JLP is packed up for mothballs, that research may be still undone.

-Sam Stephenson

1 Comment

  1. Nick Hoffman Said,

    December 3, 2010 @ 4:20 am

    As I’ve listened to the clips and read about the project, I’ve often envied Dan his experience. It’s a kind of time travel. He’s a lucky man to be able to immerse himself in the happenings at the loft all those years ago with all those characters. I love following your progress with the JLP. Keep going and good luck! Best regards, Nick