New Jazz Resources Available at Princeton

In the last few months, the Princeton University Library has acquired noteworthy audio and video jazz resources–from streaming audio to two large and outstanding gifts of CDs and DVDs–that greatly expand access to jazz listening, viewing, and study at Princeton.

Streaming Audio: the Jazz Music Library

Authorized Princeton users can now listen to jazz online via the Jazz Music Library! This new Princeton resource
for streaming audio from Alexander Street Press aims to become the
largest and most comprehensive collection of jazz available online–with
thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres. For more information on the Jazz Music Library, click here. Other key links include a regularly updated “What’s New” page, various browse options, and playlists–both pre-formed by Alexander Street and ones you can make yourself. All selections in the Jazz Music Library have unique, persistent URLs, making linking easy from reserve lists and other Web pages. Remember, if you are accessing from off campus, you must first activate VPN or the proxy server for the resource to recognize you as a Princeton user and log you in correctly to the Jazz Music Library.

Two Outstanding Gifts of Jazz CDs, DVDs, and Books

In the summer and fall of 2009, the Mendel Music Library received two remarkable donations of jazz collections assembled by life-long jazz lovers.

In May 2009, Laura Gates Burgess donated the jazz collection of her late father, Stephen Gates, Ph.D. *55. The focus of this pristine compilation of books, vinyl records, and CDs is a treasure trove of more than 400 CD remasterings of essential recordings by famous and lesser-known artists from the 1920s through the 1960s, the golden years of jazz. Numerous CDs of classic performances by Eddie Condon, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Bobby Hackett, Fletcher Henderson, Red Nichols, Bessie Smith, Teddy Wilson, and other luminaries mixed with rare reissues of Wingy Manone, Wilbur De Paris, Bennie Moten, and the Goofus Five, among other delights. We have completed processing the Gates CDs, and they can all be accessed from the library catalog by clicking here. Remember to select “long view” after selecting a particular recording to see all the descriptive information (performers and recording dates, for example).

This fall, we received an extraordinary collection of CDs, DVDs, and books from Doris Rickles, the widow of Bob Rickles of Marlborough, N.J. Until his death in April 2008, Rickles was an active member of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (IAJRC) and the Duke Ellington Society in the UK. Bob was an inveterate collector of jazz CDs and his entire collection of some 3,500 jazz CDs is now being processed for the Mendel Music Library’s collection. The depth of coverage of key jazz artists in the collection is phenomenal. Rickles was an obvious “completist” who sought to obtain every available recording of his favorite artists–note the number of Count Basie recordings, for example. In addition, the collection is very rich in more obscure performers and covers a wide range of performance and jazz styles. Another bonus of the Rickles collection is over 100 DVDs of jazz performances, none of which Princeton previously owned. The Rickles Collection is still in process and the number of CDs available to the Princeton community grows monthly. To access the processed (and in-process) CDs and all the DVDs from the library catalog, click here.

Both the Gates and Rickles gifts now provide Princeton with a breadth and depth of vintage jazz recordings it previously lacked, and offer a vital complement to the rising interest in jazz studies at Princeton, as marked by the Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Fund for the Study of Jazz, established in 2008.