The Red Hot Jazz Archive
April 7, 2002 3:18 PM   Subscribe

The Red Hot Jazz Archive - Louis Armstrong, Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon, Ma Rainey, Don Redman, Trixie Smith and all the other household names are here. Essays, biographies, discographies, filmographies and sounds--It's your one stop shopping source for the Potato Head Blues in its entirety--truly one of the high points in Western Civilization--for example, among many, many other classics. I ran this sucker through here and Google and it doesn't show up--so pardon the double-post if it is so. I mean, it ought to be. It's just one of my favorite sites. A little hard on the eyes but a delight just the same.
posted by y2karl (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dong_resin at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2002

Nice find y2karl. The Ma Rainey page was a special treat. I'm also glad they included Mezz Mezzrow as well. Like the bio says, he was only a fair-to-middlin' musician, but one hell of a storyteller. Really the Blues blew me away when I discovered it back in college, first for the amazing history and secondly for Mezz's inimitable hepcat language. Thanks for making me remember,man.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on April 7, 2002

y2karl, I am going to have to make a special bookmark page just for all the good sites you post. Thank you for this latest one and all of the others.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:01 PM on April 7, 2002

I've been a fan of the Red Hot Jazz Archive for a long time, as I am a bit of a history buff when it comes to early jazz. (Awhile back, I assisted NPR and Great Performances on some research regarding Harlem-era performers.)

The Red Hot Jazz Archive also features my former boss' father, Bud Dant, who played cornet with Hoagie Carmichael's Collegians on these tracks.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:29 AM on April 8, 2002

Would you guys like this music as much if it were recorded in today's crystal-clear, digital recording studios? Or is the tinny sound and record-hiss part of the magic? I think the tinniness adds something eerie and spectral to these hot jazz records (as it does to the old country and blues on the Harry Smith anthologies.) It sounds like we're hearing 'em strained through the walls of time. (On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for people like "Past Perfect" who wash these things clean as a whistle. It's difficult to say...)
posted by Faze at 7:04 AM on April 8, 2002

I have thought this myself. But...Potato Head Blues? I only wish I could hear that in in present state-of-the-art, well, maybe not anything later than tube amp fidelity, maybe...

Revenant has done a Herculean labor on the Charley Patton box set--not that the scratches have disappeared but they're the best of Patton I've heard yet. Too, you must remember upon what the discs were listened to--they weren't strained through the walls of time in real time then.
posted by y2karl at 8:08 AM on April 8, 2002

I have to admit that there is a certain charm to the tinny sound out of the old records, but I really, really like what Past Perfect has done. I should break down and buy their whole catalogue.

On a semirelated note, another place online I love (and where I first found out about Past Perfect) is Retro Magazine. They were purchased by Zapata, a failed dotcom, and had to shut their doors in early '99, but I hear that they are being resurrected and are going through a site redesign, hopefully to return to all of us as soon as possible.

Retro is still cool...
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:52 AM on April 8, 2002

Potato Head Blues? I only wish I could hear that in in present state-of-the-art...

I could be wrong, but to my ear, Potato Head Blues sounds considerably better on my copy of this CD than it does on that site. Maybe that's a streaming prob? I dunno.
posted by dobbs at 12:07 AM on April 9, 2002

I was talking about hearing it as if it were recorded with present day technology. I'm sure your CD sounds better, the one I have--Hot Fives And Sevens--does, too. But it's still a CD made eventually from a 78 master. Streaming's definitely a step down--although with my show, one comment I get over and over when listeners write is how the old records sound better in RealAudio than new music. For obvious reasons, I think.
posted by y2karl at 12:22 AM on April 9, 2002

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