Here’s the good news. What many of us have only read about in discographies exists: discs preserving thirty minutes of a Village Vanguard jam session, overseen by Ralph Berton, then broadcasting jazz on the air on New York City’s municipal radio station, WNYC.
And thanks to the Library of Congress, National Public Radio, and the tireless Franz Hoffmann, we can hear two minutes and thirty-six seconds of a jump blues, caught in the middle of Lester’s solo. The sound is good; the discs were well-preserved.
The less good news is that the NPR commentator (perhaps unconsciously modeling himself on Alistair Cooke) talks over the music at the start and it is such a brief excerpt. But it gives one hope for more glorious jazz archaeology:
Thank you, Lester, Shad (trumpet); Higgy (trombone); Sammy Price (piano); Doc West (drums); Ralph Berton; anonymous WNYC engineer / recordist; the Library of Congress; National Public Radio; Franz Hoffmann.
May your happiness increase.