God knows I’ve wished they would do it, wondered why they hadn’t done it yet and widened my eyes every time I heard they were ready to do it. Those rumors have at last coalesced into a near-certainty, and it turns out good things merely take time (and money).
Off The Record is now fundraising to produce The New Orleans Rhythm Kings: Complete Recordings, 1922-25. The NORK will finally receive the same treatment Off The Record gifted on similar sets for King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, Bix Beiderbecke’s Wolverines and company’s Cabaret Echoes collection. Doug Benson’s masterful audio restoration and David Sager’s loving yet illuminating liner notes are a natural fit for this seminal, rollicking jazz band, (in this writer’s opinion) the white, Chicago-born analog of Oliver’s ensemble. You can donate here to help make it happen.
Yet chances are that most of the people reading this blog already knew all of that. So why, if you have only a passing interest in twenties jazz or have never even heard of the NORK, should you support this project?
For starters, there’s the combination of joyful music presented in sterling sound and wrapped in historical/musical context that breathes like a smart, friendly explanation rather than a lecture. Anyone can enjoy and learn a lot from Off The Record. You also support an enterprise that is all about the music, what collector and writer Mark Berresford called the “to hell with the sales figures, let’s get people listening to this material!” mantra. Great music in a superior format produced by sincere, knowledgeable people: I don’t usually solicit for money on this blog but I’m happy to make an exception this time.
Plus, I really want to get this set produced and into my stereo. So do it for some faceless blogger.
Here is that link, again. Thanks so much!