Eugene Smith, and the "Jazz Loft"

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Jim Chinn

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Anyone who knows the history of photographer Eugene Smith knows he was an avid fan of jazz and provided his loft as a location for impromptu jam sessions that included the greats of jazz from the late 50s and early 60s.

Smith was also an avid recorder of sounds and music in the loft and recorded hundreds of hours of material. NPR's weekend edition is presenting some of those tapes on shows in December and I assume that eventually most of this material will be available either on line or in some edited form on CD. Here are a couple of links about the project:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120925923
http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/jazz-loft/

I had read in his biography about the "loft" years and something somewhere about his recording "hobby" but assumed the tapes were either lost or had deteriorated to the point that they were useless. I suppose through digital means they have been recovered and enhanced. Anyway a major coup for folks who love photography and jazz.
 

df cardwell

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ain't that cool ?
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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Jim, if you listen to the tapes, you'll likely hear my cousin (by marriage) Sandy and her husband, who owned one of the apartments Eugene Smith secretly wired for sound. He was a good friend of Sandy's, although he was wildly eccentric and frequently unpleasant. He photographed her two kids, but signed them with the alias "Walter Egor". If you remove the first and last letter, it's alter ego. :wink:

I wrote a post about this on my blog at http://photodino.wordpress.com .

- CJ
 

Gim

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I'm an npr junkie and will be keeping an ear out for this. Thanks for the info.

Jim
 

papagene

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I seem to remember a friend having a CD of this. I'll have to contact him and find out if my memory is still working.

gene
 
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