Instrumentalists: The Compleat Virtuosi

Of all the world's virtuosi, none was more certain of his art than Phonographist Joe Warfield. Maestro Warfield's instruments were three phonographs and 300 or so records—and he played them with an artist's rapt care. Warfield was a disquaire, a man who played the phonograph, and he took a witch doctor's grave delight in his work. "I create a mood like a painting," he would say I can make the people dance. I can make them sit down." Awe-struck by such commanding art, a newspaper columnist once told him: "Warfield, if only...

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