Do you like early jazz?

I know I sure do.

A guy named David W. Niven spent his life collecting early jazz records, and before he died in 1993, he carefully curated his collection on cassette tapes. 1,000+ hours of this music has been digitized, and is available for free download or streaming at The dozens of artists include Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Frank Sinatra, Bessie Smith, Thelonious Monk, Benny Goodman—the list goes on and on (and on). Also captured is Niven’s recorded commentary on context and background at the beginning of each tape.

If jazz not your thing, believe me I understand: I cut my musical teeth on rock, pop and electronica (house, EDM), and I didn’t really “get” jazz until I was a little older. Artists (especially Vanessa Daou) who incorporated jazz elements into genres I found more accessible helped get me to that oh okay wow moment; from then on there was no looking back. And if jazz is your thing? Niven’s life’s work is a priceless treasure.

This entry was posted in joy, music by Iris Vander Pluym. Bookmark the permalink.

About Iris Vander Pluym

Iris Vander Pluym is an artist and activist in NYC (West Village), and an unapologetic, godless, feminist lefty. Raised to believe Nice Girls™ do not discuss politics, sex or religion, it turns out those are pretty much the only topics she ever wants to talk about.

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