title

The Jazz Loft Radio Series

WNYC Studios

4
Followers
2
Plays
The Jazz Loft Radio Series

The Jazz Loft Radio Series

WNYC Studios

4
Followers
2
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

About Us

W. Eugene Smith was a famous photo essayist for LIFE magazine and a suburban family man when he left it all in 1957 and moved to a rundown loft in Manhattan. The building had already become a popular hangout and jamming space for jazz players both prominent and obscure, and Smith spent the next decade documenting the music, conversations and personalities that passed through. This program, produced and hosted by Sara Fishko and originally heard as a 10-part radio series in 2009, pulls from the 4,000 hours of audio Smith recorded.

Latest Episodes

Special Episode: Jazz Loft Jam Sessions

In this episode, thanks to W. Eugene Smith's tape recorders, we get to experience something audiences rarely hear - the unrehearsed, imperfect, open-ended, overlong, rough-around-the-edges music that jazz players made when they got together to jam at 821 Sixth Avenue. No audience present. Just the musicians playing. The late vibes player Teddy Charles said it best in an interview: When nobody's around, and you're just by yourself, that's when the best jazz happens. Really incredible stuff. You take chances on things. The real excitement of jazz is taking chances. Whether you make it or not. You try for something even if it doesn't happen. And that's what makes Jazz really exciting. Featured in this episode are jam sessions with: 1 - Dave McKenna, piano; Fred Greenwell, sax; Bill Takas, bass; Ron Free, drums2 - Bill Potts, piano; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Ron Free, drums3 -Paul Bley, piano; Jimmy Stevenson, bass; Roland Alexander, tenor sax; Eddie Listengart, trumpet; Lex Humphries, drum...

56 MIN2017 MAR 7
Comments
Special Episode: Jazz Loft Jam Sessions

Introduction

Few people in history had as much access to the greatest jazz musicians of our time as W. Eugene Smith. The famousLIFEmagazine photographer moved in1957 toa rundown, bohemian loft on 6th avenue, in the heart of Manhattan’s Flower District. During this time, the likes of Thelonius Monk, Chick Corea and Hall Overton slept here, smoked here, and played here—and Smith captured nearly of all it on a series of unparalleled audio recordings. Those tapes finally resurfaced, more than two decades after Smith’s death in 1978. Producer Sara Fishko firstmade use of Smith's archive to create thesepictures in sound, giving us intimate access to a time and a place long gone.

11 MIN2015 OCT 31
Comments
Introduction

Enter W. Eugene Smith

Before photographer W. Eugene Smith lived in a rundown loft in the thick of New York’s jazz scene, he lived in another world. A native Kansan who earned a scholarship to Notre Dame, Smith was a staff photographer forLIFEmagazine -- considered photojournalism's top job in an era when photographers were major stars. What compelled him to leave that life behind?

21 MIN2015 OCT 29
Comments
Enter W. Eugene Smith

The Tapes

W. Eugene Smith recorded more than 4,000 hours in his Manhattan loft. Some 139 different personalities—musicians,writers and artists—makeappearances. The conversations are one thing, but the impromptu jam sessions, involving remarkable musical collaborations, add to the incredible story of what became known as the Jazz Loft.

15 MIN2015 OCT 28
Comments
The Tapes

Hall Overton

By day, Hall Overton was an instructor of classical music at Juilliard. By night, he was living, teaching, and playing jazz piano at the Jazz Loft. In this episode, some of the musicians who knew him best share their memories of the brilliant, self-effacing man with an ever-present cigarette dangling from his lip.

19 MIN2015 OCT 27
Comments
Hall Overton

Before the Loft

Like many of New York City's most influential artists, most ofthe prominent jazz musicians of the 1950s came from someplace else.After World War II, returning soldiers flocked to New York, bouncing from clubs to studios to lofts in search of a place where jazz could flourish.

13 MIN2015 OCT 26
Comments
Before the Loft

Drummer Ron Free

Ron Free, a prodigious drummer from Charleston, South Carolina, wasthe Jazz Loft’s "house drummer" from 1958 to 1960. Holing up in W. Eugene Smith’s apartment for weeks at a time, he jammed with everyone from Thelonious Monk to Chick Corea. Eventually, Free's personal struggles with drug addiction forced him to leave New York. But Smith’s tapes provide the enduring proof of Free’smusical legacy.

20 MIN2015 OCT 25
Comments
Drummer Ron Free

Flowers at 6 AM

In the early mornings, as each all-night jam session at the loft came to a close,musicians stumbled out into the fragrant air of the surrounding flower shops.For W. Eugene Smith, the Flower District was more than a neighborhood -- it was an obsession, and a subject crucial to his evolution as a photographer and an artist. This episode explores the peculiar harmony of a neighborhood that bustled withflower merchantsby day and cleared out by night, giving jazz musicians the place all to themselves.

9 MIN2015 OCT 24
Comments
Flowers at 6 AM

Monk at Town Hall

In early 1959, a genuine stir was created in the loft -- even among the more seasoned jazz players -- when Thelonious Monk turned up to arrange his music and rehearse with the help of drummer Hall Overton. Monk and Overton had a rare chemistry, and the result of their labors made a little history on February 29th, when they took the stage at New York's Town Hall.

18 MIN2015 OCT 23
Comments
Monk at Town Hall

More Tapes

The commercial jazz world relied on by-the-hour club dates and recording sessions, but the after-hours loft scene gave musicians the luxury of forgetting time, as they played through long, uninterrupted, all-night jam sessions. In this episode, hear immersive samples of the young Chick Corea and other musicians from W. Eugene Smith's recordings.

14 MIN2015 OCT 22
Comments
More Tapes

Latest Episodes

Special Episode: Jazz Loft Jam Sessions

In this episode, thanks to W. Eugene Smith's tape recorders, we get to experience something audiences rarely hear - the unrehearsed, imperfect, open-ended, overlong, rough-around-the-edges music that jazz players made when they got together to jam at 821 Sixth Avenue. No audience present. Just the musicians playing. The late vibes player Teddy Charles said it best in an interview: When nobody's around, and you're just by yourself, that's when the best jazz happens. Really incredible stuff. You take chances on things. The real excitement of jazz is taking chances. Whether you make it or not. You try for something even if it doesn't happen. And that's what makes Jazz really exciting. Featured in this episode are jam sessions with: 1 - Dave McKenna, piano; Fred Greenwell, sax; Bill Takas, bass; Ron Free, drums2 - Bill Potts, piano; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Ron Free, drums3 -Paul Bley, piano; Jimmy Stevenson, bass; Roland Alexander, tenor sax; Eddie Listengart, trumpet; Lex Humphries, drum...

56 MIN2017 MAR 7
Comments
Special Episode: Jazz Loft Jam Sessions

Introduction

Few people in history had as much access to the greatest jazz musicians of our time as W. Eugene Smith. The famousLIFEmagazine photographer moved in1957 toa rundown, bohemian loft on 6th avenue, in the heart of Manhattan’s Flower District. During this time, the likes of Thelonius Monk, Chick Corea and Hall Overton slept here, smoked here, and played here—and Smith captured nearly of all it on a series of unparalleled audio recordings. Those tapes finally resurfaced, more than two decades after Smith’s death in 1978. Producer Sara Fishko firstmade use of Smith's archive to create thesepictures in sound, giving us intimate access to a time and a place long gone.

11 MIN2015 OCT 31
Comments
Introduction

Enter W. Eugene Smith

Before photographer W. Eugene Smith lived in a rundown loft in the thick of New York’s jazz scene, he lived in another world. A native Kansan who earned a scholarship to Notre Dame, Smith was a staff photographer forLIFEmagazine -- considered photojournalism's top job in an era when photographers were major stars. What compelled him to leave that life behind?

21 MIN2015 OCT 29
Comments
Enter W. Eugene Smith

The Tapes

W. Eugene Smith recorded more than 4,000 hours in his Manhattan loft. Some 139 different personalities—musicians,writers and artists—makeappearances. The conversations are one thing, but the impromptu jam sessions, involving remarkable musical collaborations, add to the incredible story of what became known as the Jazz Loft.

15 MIN2015 OCT 28
Comments
The Tapes

Hall Overton

By day, Hall Overton was an instructor of classical music at Juilliard. By night, he was living, teaching, and playing jazz piano at the Jazz Loft. In this episode, some of the musicians who knew him best share their memories of the brilliant, self-effacing man with an ever-present cigarette dangling from his lip.

19 MIN2015 OCT 27
Comments
Hall Overton

Before the Loft

Like many of New York City's most influential artists, most ofthe prominent jazz musicians of the 1950s came from someplace else.After World War II, returning soldiers flocked to New York, bouncing from clubs to studios to lofts in search of a place where jazz could flourish.

13 MIN2015 OCT 26
Comments
Before the Loft

Drummer Ron Free

Ron Free, a prodigious drummer from Charleston, South Carolina, wasthe Jazz Loft’s "house drummer" from 1958 to 1960. Holing up in W. Eugene Smith’s apartment for weeks at a time, he jammed with everyone from Thelonious Monk to Chick Corea. Eventually, Free's personal struggles with drug addiction forced him to leave New York. But Smith’s tapes provide the enduring proof of Free’smusical legacy.

20 MIN2015 OCT 25
Comments
Drummer Ron Free

Flowers at 6 AM

In the early mornings, as each all-night jam session at the loft came to a close,musicians stumbled out into the fragrant air of the surrounding flower shops.For W. Eugene Smith, the Flower District was more than a neighborhood -- it was an obsession, and a subject crucial to his evolution as a photographer and an artist. This episode explores the peculiar harmony of a neighborhood that bustled withflower merchantsby day and cleared out by night, giving jazz musicians the place all to themselves.

9 MIN2015 OCT 24
Comments
Flowers at 6 AM

Monk at Town Hall

In early 1959, a genuine stir was created in the loft -- even among the more seasoned jazz players -- when Thelonious Monk turned up to arrange his music and rehearse with the help of drummer Hall Overton. Monk and Overton had a rare chemistry, and the result of their labors made a little history on February 29th, when they took the stage at New York's Town Hall.

18 MIN2015 OCT 23
Comments
Monk at Town Hall

More Tapes

The commercial jazz world relied on by-the-hour club dates and recording sessions, but the after-hours loft scene gave musicians the luxury of forgetting time, as they played through long, uninterrupted, all-night jam sessions. In this episode, hear immersive samples of the young Chick Corea and other musicians from W. Eugene Smith's recordings.

14 MIN2015 OCT 22
Comments
More Tapes
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