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Track 1 - Time: 9:29

A minor blues with Zoot Sims and Clarence Sharpe, saxophone; Dick Scott, drums; Vinnie Burke, bass. March 1964.

Track 2 - Time: 1:26

Mary Lou Williams interview on Armed Forces Radio via Far East Radio in Japan. Kansas City jam session story. 1966

Track 3 - Time: 14:25

It’s You or No One for Me. Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; other musicians unknown. Date unknown.

Track 4 - Time: 2:25

W. Eugene Smith in loft, discussing his WWII photography with two unidentified interviewers and Carole Thomas.

Track 5 - Time: 2:00

W. Eugene Smith telegram to the Long John Nebel Show on WOR Radio with response from featured guest photographer, Weegee. April 1964.

Track 6 - Time: 11:18

After You’ve Gone. Paul Bley, piano; Jimmy Knepper, trombone; Freddy Greenwell, tenor saxophone; Ronnie Free, drum solo. Not long after this recording was made Ronnie Free disappeared from the loft. He left New York City and didn’t return for more than three decades. March 1960.

Track 7 - Time: 2:13

W. Eugene Smith monologue about his WWII photography. A reading from the speech he gave to the New York Camera Club in 1946.

Track 8 - Time: 4:04

Joel Freedman, cello. Solo from live performance on WBAI's "Radio Unnamable," hosted by Bob Fass. Summer 1967.

Track 9 - Time: 3:19

Hall Overton introduces Savoy performed in concert by The Art Farmer Quartet, featuring Jim Hall. New School for Social Research, NYC. Channel 13, public TV broadcast. June 1, 1963.

Track 10 - Time: 6:16

Savoy. Art Farmer, trumpet; Jim Hall, guitar; Bob Cunningham, bass; Walter Perkins, drums.  New School for Social Research, NYC.  Channel 13, public TV broadcast. June 1, 1963.

W. Eugene Smith made approximately 4,000 hours of audio recordings on 1,740 reel-to-reel tapes at 821 Sixth Avenue between 1957 and 1965. The tapes were archived at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona following Smith’s death in 1978. They had not been heard until the Jazz Loft Project began working to preserve and catalog this material. The transferred recordings reveal high sound quality and unique musical and cultural content, offering unusual documentation of an after-hours New York jazz scene.

Smith wrote 139 names of jazz musicians on his partial, haphazard tape labels: famous stars such as Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, and Lee Konitz, along with underground legends —drummer Ronnie Free, bassist Henry Grimes, drummer Edgar Bateman, multi-instrumentalist Eddie Listengart, and saxophonist Lin Halliday, as well as many unknowns. Research on the preserved tapes so far indicates that at least 300 musicians are represented. The tapes also reveal many of Smith's obsessions and other oddities, such as recorded street noise in the flower district, late-night radio talk shows, telephone calls, television and radio news programs, and random dialogues among musicians, artists, and friends and associates of Smith.

Enjoy listening to the sounds of 821 Sixth Avenue and join our mailing list to find out when new material is added.

images of tape boxes