Freedom Now suite at the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival.
Max Roach reprised his
Max Roach reprised his Freedom Now suite at the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival. Redferns
This weekend, NPR Music is going to the 56th anniversary edition of the CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival to stream concerts live online, and record others for on-demand listening. It's an event with a long legacy of great music — really, the first of its kind — and that continues in 2010. You can see and hear it all unfold at npr.org/newportjazz.
For this week's Take Five, we're exploring a bit of that legacy. Founded in 1954, the festival was around for some of the now-mythic days of jazz, including the late '50s and early-mid 1960s. Founder George Wein and his team regularly booked living legends and heroes-in-the-making to come up to idyllic, seaside Rhode Island and give thrilling summer concerts. It makes for an astounding historical register; even better, there's a lot of great music captured from the event.
Last year, concert archivists Wolfgang's Vault came into possession of the entire set of official recordings from the Newport Jazz Festival. They've been slowly restoring, researching and releasing digital archives of that collection for free online streaming and paid downloads. We've chosen just a small slice of that: highlights from the 1964 event, recently made available at Wolfgang's Vault. As you can hear, new sounds were in the air, giants were on stage and crowds loved it.