Sara Fishko is an Executive Producer and Host at WNYC, specializing in culture.
This episode extra for Episode 3, The Tapes, features photographs from W. Eugene Smith and an interview excerpt from Dave Frishberg.
We hear rather longer segments of some of the more memorable tapes including a casual meeting between musicians and loft regulars Zoot Sims and Jimmy Stevenson and a subsequent jam session; powerful piano playing by Dave McKenna; a conversation with the young Roland Kirk revealing his aspirations; a lonely night when nothing was happening, tape still rolling!
Photos: © 1957 - 1965, 2009 The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith
Audio: Jazz Loft audio clips courtesy Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Well, the cast of characters was pretty outstanding. Of course a lot of the people I met up there were just guys like myself who weren’t really known and were new in town and it was a place to come to meet people and hang out and listen to each other play. So…But among the well-known musicians I’d met there at that time were: Dave McKenna and Jake…no, not Jake…Steve Swallow, I met there. Steve was about 17 years old when I met him at that loft. Roswell Rudd, the trombone player. I met Al Cohn and Zoot Sims there for the very first time. They happened in once while I was there and they brought a big, like gallon of ice cream, Neapolitan ice cream, and they shared it with us and we all sat around and ate out of that carton -- there must have been 10 of us -- and I was so thrilled to meet Al and Zoot, and I was thinking: ‘this is gonna be great, I’m gonna get to play with Al and Zoot.’ But they never even opened their horns. We ate the ice cream and then they said:, “Well, we gotta go,” and they left.