Imagine finding an unknown Shakespeare play or Mark Twain novel. That's how National Jazz Museum in Harlem founding director and senior scholar describes a treasure trove of live jazz recordings made by sound engineer Bill Savory from 1936-1940. Thanks to a partnership between the museum and Apple Music, those recordings are being made available to the public for the first time.
The Savory Collection, Volume 1 - Body and Soul: Coleman Hawkins and Friends was released last month. It features 16 tracks by jazz legends Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton and two tracks by the less famous guitarist Carl Kress and violinist Emilio Caceres. The second volume featuring the Count Basie big band and saxophonist Lester Young comes out next month. More volumes will follow next year. None of these recordings have been heard since they were broadcast some 80 years ago.
Loren Schoenberg joined Jazz Nightly and discussed the history of the recordings and their historical significance.