Episode 2-- Images of the Loft

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

We learn more about Eugene Smith and his background, experience in WWII, pioneering work as a photo essayist for Life magazine; as well as his later preoccupation with recording life around him. (Originally aired November 17, 2009)

We hear from his acquaintances, friends and family; photography experts discuss his work. We hear tapes of Smith himself in conversation, as well as a stream of popular culture material he watched and listened to while working in his darkroom.  With John Cohen, author W.T. Lhamon, Steve Swallow, Jimmy Stevenson, Nancy Overton, others.



The Jazz Loft Project Radio Series was supported in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities; and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts.


Comments [8]

Ken Wolman from Bristol, PA

When I found out the entire JLP was out in print I got a copy. It's magnificent. He had an astounding talent, boundless daring, and this gift that I certainly can't state let along define. He should have lived far longer than he did but his habits were such it's miraculous he survived as long as he did. In any case the book is a treaure. Gene Smith is a man I wish I'd met. It would have been a privilege.

Jan. 14 2012 12:24 PM
Suzanne Roach from Santa Rosa, California

JIMMY [JAMES] IRVING STEVENSON went to the greatest jam session January 6th, 2010 at 5:22 pm which is his birthday May 22, 1939.
Sam Stephenson sent him an autographed copy of
"The Jazz Loft Project" and we all enjoyed it very much. We also enjoyed the radio broadcasts very much.
At the end his son Scott was holding James' hand and crying because he didn't want to see his Dad suffer and and James said softly, "It's O.K."
I miss him so very much.
His partner of 42 years,
Suzanne E. Roach

Jan. 15 2010 12:40 AM
Gene Smith from New Jersey

I'm a professional photographer and Jazz drummer. And my name is Gene Smith!
I have always loved to hear about Gene's work AND play. Gene has been a huge inspiration to me, and his environmental awareness is a tribute to his genius. What a hoot to be immersed in the genius of all those fine Jazz players. I can't imagine what fun it was chatting with Monk or Milt Hinton. Of course everyone thought he was crazy- Genius always seems crazy to the unilluminated.

Never underestimate the eccentric or bizarre.
I love his crack about Miles... Maybe the emperor HAS no clothes!

It's been fun being a photographer and named Gene Smith- I got a lot of milage out of it in photo class when I promised my instructor I'd get "Dad" to speak in class...

Dec. 29 2009 09:18 AM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

I just got my copy of the Jazz Loft Project book.
What a kick. Thanks so much.

Dec. 26 2009 12:11 AM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

I was pretty sure that my parents purchased for themselves and for us three kids copies of "The Family of Man", the book with W. Eugene Smith's photo of his children.

It took some hunting, but I found my well worn copy.

Wow, the connections. Who would have ever guesses?

Dec. 06 2009 12:50 PM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

In the late 1940's and 1950's my father worked for E.R. Squibb & Sons. Squibb used the photo of the two children in their advertisements. I think they used a title, something like "Security", the little girl being led by her "big brother" into that halo of summer light..

My father found that someone had used the photo to do an oil painting. He bought the painting. I love that painting. Since my son and daughter were about the ages of those two kids, I always saw that picture as my two kids.

My father passed away in 1972. All I took was his Bulova watch, from 1952, which I still use - never touched.

Last year, my mother passed away. When we "broke up" the house, all I took was that painting.
I cherish the painting for my memories of my parents, and whenever I see my now 40ish children, I think of the painting.

Dec. 05 2009 06:57 PM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park, NJ

Randy Ezratty-

If you lime this, go to and get Steve Rowland's porjects, "The Miles Davis Radio Project", "Tell Me How Long 'Trane's Been Gone" and "Leonard Bernstein: An American Life".

Dec. 05 2009 06:40 PM
Randy Ezratty from Manhattan

Big thanks for this fascinating and well produced series! Sara Fishko always hits the mark.

In general, I don't like (can't stand!) most of the stuff produced at WNYC (especially The Take Away, Radio Rookies, and Radio Lab) but The Jazz Loft Project is as fine as radio gets.


Nov. 17 2009 06:05 PM

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