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6855A Suggestion for the Red Hot Jazz Archive

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  • Albert Haim
    Apr 26, 2009
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      The Archive has a comprehensive treatment of Paul Whiteman – biographical information, a tremendous set of audio files, a good collection of Paul Whiteman "On the Air," etc.

      On Feb 12, 1924, Paul Whiteman and his orchestra presented the concert "An Experiment in American Music" at Aeolian Hall. Pianist/composer George Gershwin was the featured soloist for the performance of "Rhapsody In Blue." Zez Confrey played some of his piano compositions. The concert was not recorded.

      In 1981, a recorded reconstruction of the concert "An Experiment in American Music: Paul Whiteman at Aeolian Hall" was produced for the Smithsonian Institution by Martin Williams and J. R. Taylor (The Smithsonian Collection R028). Records of the period –mostly Whiteman recordings- were used for the reconstruction.

      In 1985, Maurice Peress recreated the famous Feb 1924 Paul Whiteman Concert. Peress used scores from the Williams College Whiteman archives and gave a performance in Town Hall and throughout the US, as well as overseas. Two years later, in 1987, the recording "The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue" was issued by Musicmasters (LP 20113X/14T; cassette 40113-4; CD 60113-4).

      There is an excellent review of the two albums by John S. Wilson in the Feb 15, 1987 issue of the New York Times. Wilson writes, "The two collections complement each other so well that they are most interesting when heard in tandem."

      Finally, my suggestion. Could these two albums be uploaded to the Red Hot Jazz Archive's Paul Whiteman page? I would volunteer copies of the albums, but, regrettably, I do not have any of the two. Used copies of the Peress recreation are available at amazon.com, but I have been unable to locate copies of the Williams/Taylor reconstruction.

      Albert
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