In the late '50s and early '60s, photographer W. Eugene Smith made approximately 4,000 hours of reel-to-reel tape recordings, and took nearly 40,000 photos, in his lower Manhattan loft apartment. His was a building where the era's top jazz musicians stopped by for jam sessions at all hours of the night. In a series of four reports on NPR's Weekend Edition, culled from a 10-part series on WNYC, Sara Fishko explores the stories of The Jazz Loft.
Introducing The Jazz Loft
Dec. 6 | An overview of the stories hidden within Eugene Smith's 1,741 reels of tape — and the story of the tapes themselves.
Composer Hall Overton
Dec. 13 | Scores of musicians, classical and jazz alike, flocked to the modest Juilliard professor's apartment for lessons.
Drummer Ron Free
Dec. 20 | The Jazz Loft's brilliant "house drummer" had to leave the building, and the jazz scene, to fight his drug addiction.
Dec. 27 | As the '50s turned to the '60s, the cultural scene in New York City was changing — as was 821 Sixth Ave. itself.