Music: Hot Society

Jazz, blowsiest of the arts, has been disgracefully lax about keeping her barrelhouse in order. The master recordings of hundreds of notable numbers, played by inspired but informal groups of musicians in obscure studios, have been lost or destroyed. Copies of records made in Swing's golden age, the 19203, by bands like the Wolverines, Friars Society Orchestra and New Orleans Rhythm Kings, are therefore as rare as Gutenbergs and, to lovers of America's native music, as valuable.

Last winter Victor repressed a series of early jazz masterpieces, sold them as the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial...

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