Detroit, MI 11-1-79 SBD
In A Silent Way
Its About That Time
Sound Check Jam?
Teentown Sound Check?
Zawinul, Shorter, Pastorius, Erskine
The Story of the John Dawson Jazz Collection
The History of Private and Unreleased Live Jazz Recordings
Live recordings are nothing new in the jazz world. With every performance being different and improvised jazz is really well suited music for live recordings. It's about trying to capture that special one of a kind unforgettable performance. Jazz is music of the moment, it happens and then it's gone never to be the same again, truly a performance art. Documenting and capturing the art-form of live jazz is also part of what this is all about. I did not want this collection of recordings to die, go away or get lost to time. All of this will serve as an archive, reference, history and some great music that has been saved. This is a small part of audio jazz history that I managed to save.
It is often said that the first rock bootleg record was Bob Dylan's Great White Wonder. This was a two-LP set of Dylan's basement tapes from 1969 that came in a plain white jacket. It was the first bootleg to come along that got the attention of the baby-boomer generation and was a smash hit. Later it was estimated that Great White Wonder went on to sell over a million copies and has become a gold record bootleg!
The history of jazz bootlegging started long before the Bob Dylan Album of 1969 fame. The first jazz bootleg may be a radio link in a Louis Armstrong concert done in Denmark 1933. It was captured with the new technology of the time the 78 rpm disc-cutter done by a studio engineer.
One of the early legal tests of bootleg records in the USA occurred in 1936. This happened when transcription recordings made off the air were so good that small radio stations could compile programs by Bing Crosby or Paul Whiteman and sell them to the public as records. The popular band leader Fred Waring was broadcast over national radio and sponsored by The Ford Motor Company. Fred or his manager were not bothering to make any recordings of his own very popular show. His radio broadcasts were bootlegged with large scale sales to the public. After that he helped form the National Association of Performing Artists to work with ASCAP getting copyright law toughened up. They sued the Pennsylvania recording studio that was selling Fred Waring bootlegs. Waring received a court injunction against them. The very next day they sued WDAS of Philadelphia for airing the records. The court found in favor of Fred Waring. It was the sound of this band that Waring had created is what gave the records their value. The appeals dragged on in court for a while and it is doubtful that much money was ever recovered.
A very early live bootleg 78 album was of Charlie Parker on the Black Duce label in 1945. This show was a radio broadcast from 1945 Carnegie Hall in New York. The recordings got bought up by the official label and was an official re-issued very shortly after that. Later on the same show was to be re-mastered and issued as an official CD release. Dizzy, Ella, The Hawk, Duke, Prez, Bird,Miles, Krupa,Lady Day, Waller, Tatum, Pops and Monk were all subjects of short run early bootleg 78s, albums or CDs.
Perhaps the most famous bootleg in jazz history is of Duke Ellington at the Crystal Ballroom on 11-4-40 in Fargo North Dakota. It was recorded by Richard Burris and Jack Towers two students at the university at the time.
On a cold November night in 1939, Towers went and saw Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra in Sioux Falls, S.D. When Burris learned Ellington would be in Fargo the following year, he wrote to the William Morris Agency in New York for permission to make a recording of the concert. The agency granted it, with provisos. He had to promise to get the go ahead from Duke and the manager of the Crystal Ballroom, Ralph E. "Doc" Chinn. He also had to promise not to use the recording for commercial purposes.
"We went out to the Crystal Ballroom plenty early," Towers recalls. "We saw the guys in the band up on the stage sitting around playing cards, and they hadn't even put on their uniforms yet." Towers and Burris approached one of the band members and learned he played the trumpet. He was new to the band, a replacement for Cootie Williams. "Well, that was just terrible news, because Cootie was one of our men, the great trumpet player," said Towers. "This was Ray Nance's first night on the job."
As the band prepared to play, the two men searched for The Duke for the OK they'd promised to get. Just before the band started they found Ellington. He gave them permission, but couldn't understand why they would want it, saying the trumpets were in "bad shape."
Burris and Towers set up in a rush. They had a recording turntable with a sapphire-tipped cutter that carved v-tracks in 16-inch acetate discs. They placed the recorder next to Ellington's piano with two additional microphones, one up high and one down low at the front of the stage. After the orchestra played two or three warm-up pieces, Ellington came out to his piano. The band played "Sepia Panorama," its broadcast theme - local radio station KVOX broadcast part of the show live - and, "Away the program went."
The two men cut 5 1/2 discs, 15 minutes per side. "We had no thoughts other than just the thrill of being there, recording, and having something we could play for our own amazement," Towers said. "We had no thoughts whatsoever of recording anything that anybody would be listening to 40 or 50 or 60 years down the line."
From a bootleg to a Grammy winning recording is what happened to this show. Burris and Towers promised the William Morris Agency the recording would never be used for commercial purposes. So how did Dance, or anyone else for that matter, hear it in the first place?
"I had dubbed a tape of this for a guy to listen to, and he gave it to somebody else and in 1964 it popped up on LP in bootleg form over in Europe," Towers said. "That was kind of a shock, and I remember talking to Duke Ellington's sister, Ruth. She was head of Tempo Music at that time. About two days later I got a call from their lawyer, and he almost prevented me from ever listening to the thing again. Of course, they had a point... but it was bootlegged, and that was that." Duke Ellington Fargo went on to be issued several different times by many labels. The number of times that this particular show has been issued by different labels both on LP and CD is truly amazing.
In late 2000 Duke in Fargo got issued in complete remastered form as an official release for it's 60th anniversary. It has gone on to be a huge seller and some think that this is one of the best live Ellington works ever. Good thing it got recorded!!!
Joseph Krug, an early bootlegger, was tried in federal court in 1954 for taping and pressing radio performances of bandleader Glenn Miller that apparently had never been released legitimately, although the facts of the case do not reveal how or when Krug taped the broadcasts Krug was found liable and had to pay royalties to Miller's publisher and widow.
The recording work of Dean Benedetti, Boris Rose and Francis Paudras now are all important parts of jazz audio history. They captured live moments in jazz history that are now preserved for all to listen to but would have otherwise been lost to time never to be heard again. Recordings made by this group of fans have been used for official jazz CDs and continued study of the artist's work as well as jazz history.
Dean Benedetti was the guy that recorded Bird�s solos in early 1947 during a two week engagement at the Hi-De-Ho Club. In 1948, like so many other musicians, Dean (and Knepper) headed to New York and lived a desperate hand-to-mouth existence. While in New York, Dean recorded Parker on March 31, 1948, and on July 7, 10, 11, 1948. That is the extent of the recording archive. Dean did not follow Bird around the country and there were no wire recordings. Using his own equipment ( A very large 78rpm disc cutting machine) and a tremendous stack of blank discs he went to the club to record and document the shows. Later he went on to use one of the early reel to reel tape recorders with a paper based tape for the same type of recording. On top of recording all this material Dean also took the time and effort to transcribe several of Birds solos and may have been one of the first to do so. The first major written discography of Parker was researched and completed by Benedetti. He is the first fan that took on a live recording project like this on his own and out of his own pocket. At the time it was just a labor of love and had no commercial value to it.
Francis Paudras made several recordings of Bud Powell during his later Paris years. Recordings made at live shows and at his home on a reel to reel tape deck are a real nice body of work that otherwise would have been lost to time never to be heard again. They may not be perfect sound quality, but it captures the era and serves for others to hear. If not for the work of the collector/fan this 1960's period of Bud Powell's music would not have much in the way of recordings and certainly not cover his best playing of that era. Francis was more like an historian than a fan and he was keeper of the flame . Now this music is part of Powell's full body of works.
Boris Rose (1918-2000) was one of those legendary characters who seem to proliferate in the world of jazz. He was tall, articulate, always very well groomed�and by all accounts an outrageous character. An inveterate prankster, he dreamed up a dizzying array of fake label names (including "Titania," "Ambrosia," "Caliban," "Session Disc," "Ozone" and "Chazzer Records"), many of which he tried to pass off as European imports. Most of his albums bore an address on the front, such as "A Product of Stockholm, Sweden." But if you looked closely on the back, it would say something like "Manufactured in Madison, Wisconsin" in much smaller type.
The truth was that Mr. Rose produced them all from his brownstone on East 10th Street New York City. He told once that he took great delight in confounding collectors and discographers, whom he regarded as the bean counters of jazz.
"I always felt something about jazz," Mr. Rose said in an undated interview with historian Dan Morgenstern that was taped for German television. "As far back as 1930, I listened to broadcasts from the Cotton Club. I heard Duke, I heard Don Redman, I heard Cab Callaway."
During his years at City College, Mr. Rose practiced the c-melody saxophone but began to find his calling when he got a job at the MRM Music Shop on Nassau Street.
"As far back as 1940, I purchased a home [disc-cutter] recorder and I began to dub records," he told Mr. Morgenstern. "For the next few years while I was in the Army, I was able to dub records for collectors who couldn't find the originals."
From there, he branched out to recording radio broadcasts and then live bands in clubs. "Getting out of the Army in 1946, I had professional equipment, and began to take down all of these jazz broadcasts," he explained. "First on 16-inch acetate discs. Later on, when tape came into the picture, I was able to record on tape."
Mr. Morgenstern remembers Mr. Rose as "a man who never sat down�he was always monitoring three or four tape recorders or disc-cutters at any given time." For decades, Mr. Rose ran a thriving business, recording jazz wherever he could, then making and selling copies or trading them for rarer material.
He operated from 10th Street, but stored most of his original tapes and acetates in the basement of his house in the Bronx, where he raised his three daughters.
Mr. Rose kept detailed notebooks of most every recording he made. The trick, though, is to find the tape to match the written entry.
"We won't know what's in there�or what shape it's in�until somebody wants it," Ms. Rose said.
The centerpiece of the Rose archive is the Birdland Collection: Mr. Rose recorded virtually every band that played this most legendary of jazz joints, either directly off the airwaves or by smuggling a concealed tape recorder into the club.
Over time he amassed a spectacular library of modern jazz from the glory years�the 1950s. His friends found this amazing since he rarely listened to the stuff himself; his own tastes ran to Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory. Still, he documented an entire era of music, the great majority of which hasn't been heard in 60 years.
Around 1970, Mr. Rose's business entered a new phase when he began using some of his material for mass-produced LPs that were distributed internationally, generally bearing amateur-looking artwork and misleading information. According to friend and researcher Arthur Zimmerman, Mr. Rose rarely if ever bothered to negotiate with the actual musicians or pay mechanical royalties for the compositions (with the exception of several country albums by Gene Autry, after the singing cowboy's lawyers got in touch). He sold Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday material to ESP Records, and a famous double-LP set of Parker at Birdland to Columbia Records.
In the end, Mr. Rose released hundreds of albums, under dozens of label names, up through the mid-'80s. When compact discs took over, he gradually lost interest. In the '90s, he made it known that the archive was for sale, but kept raising the price whenever anybody expressed interest.
"He left it to me so I could have an income," said Elaine Rose. "His words to me were, 'Make money with it.' But it's a whole different era now." From the Wall Street Journal 12-4-2010
In the early 1950�s several old 78�s of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodd, Jelly Roll Morton, Bessie Smith and Billie Holliday were reissued as collections on sets of bootleg 10 inch records by the Jolly Roger label. They went on to be big sellers and it was found that there was still a demand for these records. A twenty three year old collector named Dante Bollrtino formed Jolly Roger Records and re-issued other out-of-print records. RCA did bring a law suite against him and he shutdown his operation. After that the big companies began to reissue more old jazz records. Maybe I accomplished something after all was Bolletino�s thought on the matter after it was all over.
During the 12 inch 33rpm vinyl record era Charlie Parker was the king of the bootleg world with more titles than any other jazz artist. Several of Bird's bootleg albums such as live at the Royal Roost, Birdland, Sweden 1950, Pershing Ballroom and Carnegie Hall later went on to be put out as official releases by major labels. This is now considered to be part of Birds body of work and it started out as bootlegs!
Duke Ellington had more than his fair share of very popular bootleg albums during this era. Duke ran a close second to Parker in number of bootleg albums issued. There were several titles in this group that would go on to be official releases. Live at the Cotton Club 1938-1940, Carnegie Hall 1940-1948 and several different issues of Live in Fargo all started out as bootlegs that later wound up being official releases. Proving again how important live recordings really are and the value to jazz history and how much the fans really wanted to hear this material.
Jazz bootleg albums really prospered from around the early 1960's to about 1985 after that CDs took over. The majority of jazz bootleg record albums were lower to mid range sound quality and only a very few were excellent sound quality. The covers were often black and white or just one single color printed directly on the jacket. A printed paper insert could serve for the cover art as well. Sometimes you would have just blank labels on the record discs themselves.
Most Bootleg albums were pressed in the USA or Europe where they would try to pass them off as imports or limited edition collector items. You could often tell that it was not an official release by the label that it was on or by the cover. A release by any artist with with a major or small label and it's not on that label chances are really strong that it is a bootleg. Miss labeled songs and artist names being spelled wrong are all signs of a bootleg record. The words Limited Edition or For Collectors Only are often the indication of a bootleg. Usually the artist and label never aware that any of this was going on.
Labels like Everest Archive of Folk and Jazz, Alamac Record Company, Ingo, Joker, Affinty, Yes Jazz, Jazz Guild, Stardust Records, Jazz Anthology, Circle Records, Aircheck, Spotlight, Musica Jazz, Okiedokie, Alto Records, Jazz Bird, Joyce, Queen Discs, Europa Jazz and Can Am all made vinyl bootleg jazz albums.
The vinyl record pressings were short runs around 250-2000 copies per single run. Most titles were one time pressing done by one or two guys and not issued again. It might get pressed at a small plant after hours for some cash under the table. The same material might get repackaged and re-issued by a different label. The records were only available in small specialty shops or by mail order. The distributors were often just one guy going around selling albums directly out of the trunk of his car to the record stores.
The price was kept pretty reasonable at $1.99 to $5.99 for a new title. A used rare title could go for $20-$60 depending on what it was and the demand for it.
In the world of jazz record bootlegs Everest Archive of Folk and Jazz was the largest and most professional label out there. The number of artists that this label covered was something around forty. Their albums in some cases were nicer with better material than small official labels releases! They had full color covers that looked very sharp! The back was black and white printed information and sometimes had it�s own liner notes. They looked nice and respectable and would be right at home in the store rack. Charlie Parker vol.1 � vol.4 was a very nice set of rare recordings by this label, that were highly sought after. Everest was a collectors label just as much as anything and the runs were real short. Lots of rare recordings of obscure jazz and blues artists that collectors really wanted to get their hands on, got issued for the first time or re-issued by this label. There records sold in the small record stores for between $1.99 to $3.99. Everest made vinyl albums throughout the mid and late 1970's and into the 1980's. In the late 1980's the Lazserlight CD company reissued some of the Everest material on CD�s with longer shows and better sound quality. They picked up where Everest left off.
During the very early 1970s, the record chain Sam Goody distributed many jazz bootleg releases under their own Alamac label. For this, and for getting someone at a printing plant to make unlicensed extra copies of commercial releases (Steely Dan among them), Sam Goody was busted and nearly closed. The bust didn�t help much as they went out of business a couple of years later. (A footnote: someone bought the rights to the name, and did reopen the chain sometime later, but that was a different operation). Alamac Records product was a plain-white record label with bad printing, with no company name or address on it. The record jackets were plain text on the back, with a single-color front cover (green, brown, etc). The cover could just be text also, or it might have a photo of the artist. The material consisted mostly of privately-made air checks and of radio transcriptions. Most everything that they did were re-issues of Boris Rose releases. According to Philwoods.com, the record label Alamac is counted as a bootleg.
Bootleg CDs often were excellent sound quality and a longer sound upgrades of the shows that had been issued before. The labels for bootleg CDs included Bandstand, Fresh Sound, Dragon, Esoldun, Eclipse, Four Star, Xanadu, Jeal, Viper�s Den, Landscape, Soundhills, Magnet , CD Charlie, Jazz Door, Moon, Flashback, Jazz Up, Lazerlight, Philogy, Jazz Hour and Le Jazz to name a few.
hen the new CD format came out again there were several issues done around 1989 of newly found material with Charlie Parker, funny how that worked. The collectors wanted this live concert material in any sound quality. Some of the early bootleg CD's of Bird were real poor quality. They still sold well and gave the fans what they wanted to hear. Others were new upgraded sound quality of shows that had been issued in the past along with some completely new material.
Over the years the flood of Parker bootlegs on the market has made the official labels have to recognize the importance and value of these recordings and make official issues of them for themselves. This has made more Parker music available to the general public and not just to the hard core fans, this is a good thing! Bird is an American classical musician that needs to have all of his recordings preserved as part of his artistic contribution to music. Adding all of the recordings to his full body of work is really a great thing. Parker always liked his live playing over anything that he ever did in the studio.
The collector series Birds Eyes did a great job of assembling, preserving unreleased Bird material in their series of CDs on the Philogy label out of Italy. Philogy went on to do another great set of discs of Lester Young called Prez's Hat and a series on Clifford Brown. Most of this material is not such great quality but all has major historic value.
The Giants of Jazz CD label out of Italy made both bootlegs and pirate reissues of out-of-print LP material that had yet to be on official CD at that time .
The CD releases of the France�s Concert on Esoldun in the late 1980�s were all outstanding sound quality and very nicely done. From what I understand all the recordings for this series came directly from France�s national recording archive and were never authorized for release. There was a lot of kicking and screaming and an international manhunt for the guys that did it but the makers were never found or convicted.
Sue Mingus, the widow of Charles Mingus, has made a provocative sideline of going into record stores in Europe, searching the bins for bootleg Mingus releases and then confiscating them right out of the store. She started doing this in 1991 and after that found the Revenge label in 1996. The Revenge! record label, she says (in the album's liner notes), was started with the intent of finding these bootlegs and re-releasing them legitimately.
The bootleg CD era also made many previously unreleased recordings of Miles Davis come out of the closet and get issued for the first time or get re-issued, longer better quality. The number of new and different Miles Davis recordings that came out in this time period is so large that it is a discussion topic unto itself. There are many other collectors that have been working on Miles Davis for years and understand far more than I ever could. There are several web sites and discussion groups that are dedicated entirely to this vary topic. Miles Davis is just briefly touched on in this collection and is much better covered by many other experts. I decided to leave Miles Davis up to the experts and try to learn about it from them. The Sounds of Miles Davis By Jan Loeman is an outstanding book on this topic.
Most jazz bootlegs were sold at smaller CD stores and passed off as "imports".The runs were often done in Europe and so very small that it was hard to trace and there was really nothing that could be done about it. Many of the jazz pressings were a one time only type run never to be pressed again. Jazz bootlegging was so small, low profile and unprofitable that know one really paid attention to it or cared except the collectors. The profits in jazz bootlegs were tiny compared to the major profit potential with one rock title.
As technology changed in the mid to late 1990�s so did the world of bootlegs. Writable CD�s turned every CD into a digital dub master disc with absolutely no quality loss. Now every new copy made became a new dubbing master and discs spread like wildfire! Copies of digital music and shows would be everywhere after the price of a burnable CD came down a little. Rare materials got copied and put into circulation. The bootleggers got bootlegged and their materials lost their selling value.
The whole event of peer to peer file sharing and things like Napster and Dime a Dozen changed music forever. Once music is converted into an MP3 or other format file it is really easy to share any material for free with anyone and everyone. You get loss-less quality and it is now really easy to find and trade with other collectors and fans. This gave the near fatal blow to the profitability of any bootleg recordings in the market place, never to come back. The trading of the MP3 would all but end the era of both jazz and rock bootlegging for profit.
Now many artist�s in the rock world, market and sell there own live �bootleg� series directly from there web site. The Miles Davis Bootleg series is selling well and has more to come. Others have there own radio on their site where you can listen to live shows that came from bootlegs.
The difference between a recording a bootleg and a pirate disc. There is a big difference in all three and they too often get lumped together as one.
A pirate disc is made of an official release that just is an outright fake counterfeit copy made to pass as the real thing. Copies of CD�s and DVD movies of big name artist works were being made overseas and sold for big profits during the late 1990�s through the 2000�s. This is done just to make a profit and steal money, nothing interesting to collectors or of historic value here. I did sell a nice pirate copy of a rare Beatles album, but made sure that who I sold to new it was a pirate copy not the collectors item. I only got $15 for it and he new what it was and still liked it.
A bootleg is an unauthorized album or CD with live or unreleased material on it. This is sold to the general public but artist has no control over it and receives no payment. In terms of jazz this is often made to look like some kind of Import disc or limited edition collector's item. This is live material that the serious fans want to hear and it has not been issued in any other way. This was done with several rock artists in the 70's-8o's. Most of the bootleg rock titles were done to make big money quickly. The jazz bootlegs were made more by fan/collector types with very small runs that didn't make lots of money. Some of the jazz releases were so small that they just barely broke even and wound up being more a labor of love.
My story and recording archive is really more about private live recording made and traded by the collectors and fans. A live recording or tape as it's known, is made by a live music fan that is referred to as a taper, recorder, recordists or trader. He will trade copies of the show that he mastered with other traders/collectors for copies of live shows that they have in their collection. Traders have a list of shows that they will trade copies of on a one for one basis with other traders. There are live music swap sites on the Internet for people that record and trade live shows.
Trading is not about trying to make money from recordings but more the music itself. Most collectors really frown upon selling recordings and people that try to profit from them. Getting to hear shows of your favorite artist that you could not make it to is another thing that tapers like. Most tapers feel that they are doing a good thing, saving and spreading the music and would never want to steal from the artist. Peter Grain of Thelonious Records once told me that they thank the collectors and consider them the keepers of the flame. It winds up being a hobby for some collectors just like collecting stamps or coins.
A recording that is poor sound quality still serves as an historic document and is an audio artifact. You can find out what the set list was for that show and get a feel for what that night might have been like. Sometimes it may not be the best recording of that artist but it is the only live recording of that artist. A recording should not be overlooked just because of poor sound quality. It still may have historic value to it and be of interest to someone.
The access to live recordings and trading of shows really took off with the digital age. Several people got home CD burners and transferred many of there old cassette tapes to CD. Copies of CD's then became really quick to make and very cost effective. Old recordings could be improved with computer programs to sound much better than they were. Collectors could now trade FLACS, Shins, MP3's as music files and do it really fast right from their computers. Putting concerts up on a site and sharing them with everyone through bit torrents really opened everything up. Now all kinds of people would trade all kind of music at the click of a mouse. Some of the recordings in this collection were acquired with bit torrent. The digital age encouraged collectors to transfer rare recordings to CD and this made lots of material come out of the closet and be heard for the first time in many years.
In the beginning of collecting all of this was known simply as tape trading an activity started mostly by fans called Dead Heads trading tapes of live concerts of the Grateful Dead.
There are three basic types of recordings that are traded. First there would be recordings of live shows from the radio or FM as this source is known. This would be the main source for most of the early classic live jazz recordings.
Next we have a soundboard tape (SBD) that is mastered with a direct line feed by the house or the band. Somehow this recording gets out to the trading world.
Last we have the audience recording made by a fan out in the audience live at the concert.
In this collection and in jazz trading in general more than 80% of all recordings come from radio broadcast material. There are several traded recordings of unreleased radio broadcasts that are outstanding sound quality and in many cases are better than several of the official releases of the same artists. I feel that all of this material should really be part of the artists body of work. Whenever I can I like to make gifts of the cds of the shows directly to the artist this way now he is in control of his own music. It was never my property to start with I was just hanging on to it for them!
How is an audience recording made at the concert? Well it goes a little something like this. First when still at home I run the check list. Make sure you have enough blanks to record on and brand new batteries for the deck for every show. I like to have a mini flashlight with me so I can check things when I'm in the dark.
To get the deck into the venue depends on the place and security for that particular show. Recording a big arena rock show in the 1970's and 1980's and in some mid size places you often had to use the old hide the deck down the front of your pants method. It always helps if you can have a friend in front and in back of you pretty close in line as you enter a larger venue.
There were horror stories about guys that got caught bringing equipment in and had it taken away and smashed to bits in front of them by the bouncers. This is not the case when recording jazz. It was always very easy and laid back.
It is always good if you can have friends sit on both sides of you to cut down on audience noise. After the lights go down I just clip on the microphone and get the recording levels set and away you go. Now you are recording the show capturing that moment the best you can.
When you were recording with cassette tape you had to make a tape flip from side A after 45 min. to record on side B. This could sometimes be a bit of a trick or a timing event. Most of the time everything went just fine but not always.
When recording at most jazz shows you are not being checked very heavy, or at all at the door. I think that most didn't care if you record. The Rainbow Music Hall in Denver would give everyone the heavy pat down treatment, you had to be ready. When I recorded Freddie Hubbard at the Oxford Hotel in Denver I just set the microphone on the table. I acted like I was suppose to be there and I knew what I was doing, nobody asked me about it.
How did I trade for this collection? How was trade made? In the 1970's through 1990's it would often start off with you running a classified ad or answering someone�s ad. You might run an ad in Relix magazine or in Goldmine Collectors paper to find other traders. You also might meet someone at a show or waiting for tickets that trades tapes.
Next you trade lists this is also called your list gets mine. After you see what you want to trade for you ask him to make copies of the shows. Then you make arrangements for a trade and figure out who will send tapes first. Now you wait for your new shows to show up in your mailbox. After you make a trade or two with one person you might start making bigger trades. This system worked real well for me over the years. However there are always a few bad seeds and tape trading is no different than anything else. I did get ripped off a few times (Sent tapes out and never got anything back) but on the whole the people have been really great and I have made some nice friends.
MY JAZZ exposure and experience started when I was working at a professional animation studio in Denver Colorado in January of 1977. At this part time job painting cels I got my first really big exposure to jazz right when I was 17. KADX FM jazz radio was on all the time. It really knocked me out, I was just floored!!! After that most other music didn�t seem the same. Most rock seemed like it was three and five cord stuff very dull to me.
Just after I got introduced to jazz I heard my first bootleg rock album The Beatles at Shea Stadium,1965. I was drawn in by the fact that I got to hear a live show of them and couldn�t anywhere else. I always wanted to know what a live show of the Beatles was like and here it is! Shortly after that I bought for the price of $2.99 The Beatles at Budokan Hall Japan 1966 and some Bob Dylan titles from a store called Underground Records in Denver and the first part of my collection was off and running. I thought that titles like Bob Dylan Great White Wonder and Royal Albert Hall 1966 were wonderful, Dylan that I had never heard before!
Shortly after this I got my first Charlie Parker bootleg and thought that it was his best playing that I ever heard. Here was outstanding unreleased live material that most people didn�t have or couldn�t find and here it is in my hands. Some of my friends had started collecting rock bootlegs as well.
In the last part of 1978 I started to listen to the music of the Grateful Dead and really liked the way that they could improvise, create and solo more like jazz musicians. I saw the Grateful Dead movie a couple times in the theater and thought to myself that these guys may not be jazz musicians but they are rocks closest answer to that, have outstanding talent and can really play. After that I went to see them live in 1979 and really had a unforgettable time! In their shows I couldn�t believe how many different songs that they played and many different jams that they did. This was the reason that so many people smuggled tape equipment into the show to try to record and save it. With the Grateful Dead every show was different so fans wanted to capture that live music as it happened and hear the concerts that they couldn�t be at. I thought that this was very cool and wanted to be a tape trader.
I met some people and got started trading Dead tapes. I got a few non Dead tapes as well, artists like Jimi Hendrix Janis Joplin, The Band and Bob Dylan. A couple of friends of mine were now recording some rock shows off FM radio with cassettes and tape trading is off and running.
Right about this time I met and became friends with Steve Anson. Steve was into the Grateful Dead and had a few tapes to trade. One day he and I were sitting outside the Rainbow Music Hall talking while waiting for a jazz show later that day. We were talking about the Dead and the way they improvised their shows like jazz and whole trading of the tapes. Steve made the point that every show is different like live jazz. I make the point that all jazz is live improvised music on the spot never to be played the same way again. �So why couldn�t there be jazz tape trading like Grateful Dead tape trading� I asked? The answer to me was �I think we just started doing jazz tape trading�. This was of course with just our friends and we weren�t national or anything but jazz taping and trading was started for me.
Steve Anson started out with some of the first master jazz recordings done on cassette of the PBS series Jazz at the Maintenance Shop from both TV and FM as well as some other live jazz on PBS. He also taped a few shows off KBCO FM radio and any other odds and ends he could find. You will find his early recordings in this collection and they will be noted. He mastered a really nice set of cassette tape recordings and they still sound great to this day.
Steve�s friends the Baygens may be the first of people that we knew to attempt making a recording from the audience. They recorded Pat Matheny at the Rainbow Music Hall with a small JVC cassette deck, it sounded awful! They tried to record a few more shows with the JVC deck but they all were really bad. Sadao Wantanbie at the Rainbow turned out to be the best recording that they made and it was still pretty sad.
Bob Johnson is a local Colorado trader that I met around this time. He and I traded some tapes and talked of what it would take to record our own live show masters. I met him at a party at Mark Novak�s (One of the all time largest Grateful Dead collectors that I met) in the summer of 1981.
At the time, I didn�t want to record any show period. I just did not want to do it and hoped others would record and I could just be a collector. However there were jazz shows that I would like to have tapes of that weren�t being recorded. Then I became a graduate of the Bob Johnson School Of Recording!!!!!
On a spring night in 1984 we were at Straight Johnson�s Blues Club in Denver seeing the Washington D.C. blues band the Nighthawks. At the break after the first set Bob Johnson informs me that his friends are going to leave and he has to go with them. This is Bob�s favorite blues band and you have to leave! The friends were already half way out the door. He hands me the tape deck and microphone and tells me I need to to a big favor him. Stay and record the rest of the show for me! He holds out the deck� Here is record, here is stop and extra tape. Thanks for doing this man!� He hands me the deck and out the door he goes. Now that I have graduated The Bob Johnson School Of Recording I�m off and running to record my first show. It turned out fine and I borrowed that deck and recorded Earl Klugh on 5-24-84 at the Rainbow Music Hall shortly after that. I now was an audience taper myself never to look back.
Around this time I met a friend of Mark Novak�s named Bill Moran. Bill was a long time Grateful Dead tape trader and audience taper that lived in Boulder, CO. Bill had one of the largest tape collection around consisting mostly of Grateful Dead and he had some other artists as well but not much jazz.
What he would let me use was a Sony Walkman D-6 Professional cassette tape recording set up with really tiny custom made clip-on microphones. My next set of recordings were made with his or other borrowed D-6 units. Steve Anson had bought a D-6 but wasn�t very good with it or using it much and sold it to me really cheap! Now I had a D-6 of my own and went on to make some nice recordings with it .
The Sony D-6 made a really nice tape but often had problems and broke down. It happened so often that Bill had a friend, there in Boulder called Walrus Sound that would do work on the D-6. I was not the only guy that gave him some business. The plug in for the microphone would always break loose and have to be sodiered on and re-attached. When it worked it was great but when it didn�t it could really be a pain in the neck.
I made several nice recordings with the D-6 for a few years. After a while I wasn't going to very many shows, so I sold the D-6 in 1989 to a guy that really wanted it and went to lots of shows so it would go to good use.
As for the jazz tape trading between 1981-1994 the tapes and CD's that I got usually came in one or a few at a time. I would find a trader that would have a collection of the regular rock stuff, often The Grateful Dead and he would have one or two sometimes a small collection of jazz recordings. So I wound getting a few tapes from a lot of different collectors. Often these recordings were right off the master tapes or very low generation copy. Most collectors would tell me that nobody would ever ask for those tapes from them. Most of the people that I got tapes from are long out of trading and collecting and who knows what happened to their collections. So I may not be the master or the source for some recordings but I don't know where you could find or replace them. The jazz tapes do not get traded nearly as much.
To find more collectors to trade with over the years I ran some classified ads. The ads I ran were in both Relix and Goldmine magazines collectors/traders section. I would always say I'm looking for jazz tapes to trade and would get a very light or no response. Most of the time it would be the guys that had only a few jazz tapes to trade. So I tried to add as many tapes to the collection as I could this way. You would usually trade between four to ten cassette tapes at a time per trade when you did it by mail. It would be kind of fun to walk out to the mailbox and see if your cool new tapes had shown up yet. One collector told me "It's like Christmas all the time!!.
Craig Keyzer is a recorder and trader that I met in 1986 at some Bob Dylan shows at Red Rocks that I recorded. Craig had done extensive audience recording in Texas long before he met any of us here in Colorado. He was also a tape collector and trader with his own collection of shows. He would go on to tape several hundred shows from the audience and radio with both cassette and mini- disc. Craig would be best know for his recordings of rock guitar players Stevie Ray Vaughn and Chris Duarte. I helped introduce him to jazz, he really got into it and started recording jazz shows as well. His contribution to this collection is strong. We thank him for his efforts and recognize his tremendous contributions to the live recording world.
Craig got a new Sony Walkman D-3 cassette tape recorder in the summer of 1988 and recorded Jethro Tull at Red Rocks for his first show with that deck. He went on to prove how much of a little work horse that this deck really was by recording 160 more mostly rock shows with it. For years he did all the recording and I did little myself. The first Time That I recorded With the D-3 was Eddie Harris at El Chaulpec Denver in 2-14-94. A night that everything that could go wrong for a taper did! Loud crowd, wrong seat and didn't know how to work the deck very well. My night in recording hell. The next time I used the D-3 deck was for Herbie Handcock and Wayne Shorter in Boulder10-17-97 that went perfect!
I moved on to Sony Mini Disc MZ-R700 and made my first recording with Fred Hess and Ron Miles on 2-10-02 in Denver. I am really impressed by a digital recording that you can make from a very easy to use and afford deck. All audience and radio masters after that time have been done with this deck. In the summer of 2008 I started to have problems finding blank mini-discs. I come to find out that it is a discontinued format and is obsolete. For something that makes this nice of a field recording it went obsolete in a very short time period
Starting around 2007 it has become so easy and common place that live recording is really not a big deal. Artists often get a friend with their laptop or even their phone to record the show for them. Live recording is no longer a rare thing. NPR archives shows on mp3�s and you can listen to them anytime. Trading went the direction of the peer to peer sharing, MP3�s and bit torrent sites like Dime A Dozen. For these reasons I have really slowed down on the master recordings and spent more time on working on cataloging what I have.
This collection is what I put together over the years. When I saw the TV special of Save Our Sounds on the History Channel about the Library of Congress project I became inspired to make this more of a permanent collection. Micky Hart drummer for that group The Grateful Dead was on the show and has done lots of work with the Library of Congress sound project. I have done everything that I could to add information and set lists to all of the recordings. It is incomplete and an on going project that I am always trying to add new and more information to. Lots of the set lists need to be added to, or have corrections made to them. I do not know the name of every track for every artist.
The basis for this collection is for it to be live rare and unreleased recordings that really could not be found much of anywhere else. Some have been released without me knowing it and now are not rare. Over the course of time many more of the shows may and should get released to the general public.
My collection was never started with the intention to make money or to have commercial value. It was all just about music that I like and wanted to hear more of. I would never intentionally want to exploit or cash in on any artists work. It is all just great music that I got a chance to hear and save. My efforts have always been as a fan and a historian. I have never made any money off this collection and have spent a bit to put it together. Now I would like this to live on and be my contribution and a part of jazz history.
If the artist or his estate ever ask for or need any recordings I will gladly turn it over to them immediately! It is really the property of the artist, we were just watching over it for them. At the bottom of this is a list of people that I have made gifts of CD's to. When I could I have tried to put the music back in the hands of the artist or their family so that now they are in control of it. Clark Terry just thought that it was really cool to get to hear and have some of his old shows!
My hope is that this music has a place to live and has been saved as a part of jazz history. I just didn't want all of this great music and jazz history to get lost to time.
People That I Have Given Recordings To
Cilia-Mingus Zants (Charles Mingus Family)
Thelonious Records Thelonious Monk's Estate
Louis Armstrong House
The Dexter Gordon Legacy Project
Art Pepper Estate
Chicago Blues Archive
Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian
Dave Brubeck School of Music
Rutgers Institute for Jazz Study
LA Jazz Institute
People that I would like to THANK for their help
Ron Miles-Jazz Trumpet Player
Craig Keyzer- Collector and Recordists
Rick Shaw- Collector
Bob Johnson-Collector and Recordists
Ernst Handlos Collector from Austria
Tom Ferrara-Collector and Recordists
Jeff Wilson-Collector and Recordists
John Cottrell-Collector and Jazz Writer
Steve Anson-Collector and Recordists
Rick Holt-Computer Help
John Metcalf-Collector and Recordists
Ken Langford-Collector For Weather Report Data
Peter Grain-Thelonious Records
Bill Moran- okie dokie!