But now, as Blue Note's website reports, tapes of their November 29, 1957 concert have been found:
The tapes from that evening at Carnegie Hall were inadequately labeled, filed away amongst the Voice of America's vast collection of recordings, and apparently forgotten until January 2005 when Larry Applebaum, a supervisor and jazz specialist at the Library of Congress, came upon them by accident during the routine process of digitally transferring the Library's collection for preservation purposes. Applebaum noticed a set of tapes simply labeled "sp. Event 11/29/57 carnegie jazz concert (#1)," with one of the tapes barring the sole marking "T. Monk."This is wild. This remarkable music was released on Tuesday, almost half a century after the event. And word is, the sound quality is fantastic.
Not so fantastic: Blue Note's reprehensible decision to add protection to the CDs so they cannot be imported into iTunes. Yes, you can purchase the album through the iTunes Music Store, but then you don't get the extensive liner notes included with the CD, and given the historical significance and movie-plot story behind the discovery of the tapes, you have to have those liner notes. So anyone who wants to listen to this concert on an iPod but only wants to pay for it once can forget it. Or they can steal it using Kazaa or BitTorrent or something. Nice move, dummies. Way to bring classic jazz to a young audience.
In fact, the only thing that tempers my disappointment with this reality is the hilarious and telling discussion currently going on in the comment section of Blue Note's webpage for the album. (Click the link above to check it out.) The younger, hipper fans are all lamenting the copy protection, and the old fogey jazz snobs are berating them for wanting to steal the music "from" online and put it on their "I-Pod." I'm always fascinated when I stumble upon something that illustrates cultural or sociological differences.
Anyway, if anyone knows a way around this unfortunate set of circumstances, please let me know.