Time Capsules

Saving jazz classics by tuning them to modern ears

Some of the greatest American music of the 20th century was recorded in the 1920s and '30s by the likes of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Bix Beiderbecke. Trouble is, the 78 r.p.m.s they left behind give only a scratchy approximation of what their bands sounded like. Much of this classic material was reissued on LPs, but the technology used to reduce the surface noise often left the instruments sounding dead and flat. Now the advent of the CD has spawned another prodigious outpouring of reissues. And finally someone has had the time, affection and sheer wizardry to...

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