[Dixielandjazz] Wax cylinders
sbrager at socal.rr.com
Mon Jun 12 22:25:55 PDT 2006
The "Mr. Jelly Lord" recording is the one you're thinking of.
----- Original Message -----
From: "mmckay" <macjazz at se.rr.com>
To: "'Stan Brager'" <sbrager at socal.rr.com>; "'DJML'"
<dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 5:30 PM
Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Wax cylinders
> Marsalis did an earlier cylinder recording at East Orange in the Edison
> Labs. It was featured on All Things Considered on PBS and issued on a CD
> that time. I've got it somewhere but can't put a hand on it tonight.
> Martin McKay
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
> [mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of Stan Brager
> Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 7:16 PM
> To: coastsidegiraffe at comcast.net; DJML
> Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Wax cylinders
> If you want to hear such a sound which was recorded recently, pick up a
> (or listen to a friend's copy) of Wynton Marsalis' recording of "Tom Cat
> Blues" on his CD "Mr. Jelly Lord". It was recorded the "natural" or
> "organic" method.
> Stan Brager
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <coastsidegiraffe at comcast.net>
> To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 8:38 AM
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Wax cylinders
> > A trip back into the technological past from the N.Y. Times:
> > Karen
> > Pacifica, CA
> > June 11, 2006
> > The City Life
> > Edison, Unplugged
> > By LAWRENCE DOWNES
> > In a basement recording studio in the Bronx the other day, unencumbered
> > wires, cables, amplifiers or headsets, a huddle of musicians took their
> cue and
> > eased into a song. It was a four-man band - trumpet, clarinet, banjo and
> > battered tuba - and a singer, a young woman with saucer eyes, a blond
> > excellent diction.
> > They played and she sang into the fat ends of two long metal horns, like
> > backward megaphones, that funneled the sound to a wooden box, a wind-up
> lathe on
> > which spun a shiny cylinder coated in brittle black wax. As a needle
> etched a
> > groove in the cylinder, a surgically attentive man dusted away the
> shavings with
> > a paintbrush and little puffs of breath.
> > When the music stopped, he put the cylinder on another machine for
> playback. He
> > turned the crank, placed the needle and a sweet, melancholy song flooded
> > room. It sounded like an unearthed relic of the Roaring Twenties, though
> > recording was barely a minute old.
> > Down in the poolroom
> > Some of the gang
> > were talking of gals they knew
> > Women are all the same, said Joe
> > Then one dizzy bird said, Pal, ain't you heard
> > the story of True Blue Lou.
> > It was an electric moment, though electricity had nothing to do with it.
> > recording was the product of the collaboration of a radio host, Rich
> Conaty, who
> > plays 20's and 30's jazz and pop on Sundays on WFUV; Peter Dilg, an
> > engineer; and the pickup musicians who leapt at the invitation to make a
> > brand-new, old-time Edison cylinder.
> > Mr. Conaty, Mr. Dilg and the band are first-rank, certifiable
> > lunch after the session, they plunged obsessively into Thomas Edison
> > Tin Pan Alley trivia. They lamented the supremacy of inferior recording
> > technologies. They pined for Betamax and cassettes, for Bix Beiderbecke
> and Cab
> > Calloway.
> > Mr. Conaty, who plans to play the cylinder on his show tonight, has an
> > that, practically by definition, is too young to remember Sophie Tucker,
> > Ike or the young and jazzy Bing Crosby. But the people who, like me,
> > Sunday nights around the show have discovered pleasures in the music
> > unrelated to nostalgia. It's a revelation to hear music so fresh and
> strange, so
> > witty and soulful, from people who are dead and gone.
> > And there is another pleasure, too. It's the warmth of the technology.
> There are
> > surely downloadable versions of "True Blue Lou." But unlike the MP3,
> > is incomprehensible and thus boring, the wax cylinder is viscerally
> > It's staggering to think that lungs and plucked strings could vibrate
> > wiggle a stylus and capture a song for 100 years on a fragile thing that
> > like a toilet paper roll. Compared with the iPod, it's a lot more human,
> > more accessible, a lot easier to love.
> > Once you've seen and heard it done, there's no going back.
> > Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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