I really thought I already had written a blog post about this great project developed under the auspices of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, but it still must be sitting in my ever-expanding pile of good intentions. At any rate, I must say that I have been enjoying the NPR radio series about the 4,000 hours or so of audio recordings made by Life magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith at the New York City loft space he rented at 821 Sixth Avenue between the years 1957 and 1965. I also am delighted to discover that the Project has now sprouted a book and a blog, and, soon, an exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts!
In addition to documenting the sounds of now-legendary jazz artists in their prime and the changing New York cityscape, Smith also recorded those other kinds of cats in the loft that tried to keep the vermin at bay. Sadly, the Jazz Loft Project Web site does not yet include any cat recordings (you can hear a fragment on one of the radio broadcasts), but they do provide a lovely image of a solitary cat on the site’s “Primary” slide show (no. 24) for your viewing pleasure.
I guess they’re not too concerned with marketing to librarians and archivists at this point.