Lost & Found Sound

The Library of Congress unveiled a welcome surprise along with its latest addition of 50 culturally significant recordings being added to its National Recording Registry: a recently discovered live performance of jazz icons Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1957.

The album-length recording by Monk and Coltrane was never commercially recorded, the library said. Only a few studio cuts by the legendary pairing were previously known to exist. The historic collaboration is not one of the 50 recordings being added to the registry this time.

As for the Library’s third annual induction of significant sound recordings, there was plenty of music in addition to the usual speeches and nature recordings. Selections ranged chronologically from Victor Herbert’s 1898 recording of “Gypsy Love Song” to Nirvana’s 1991 Nevermind.

Al Jolson is heard singing George Gershwin and Irving Caesar’s song “Swanee” – Gershwin’s first hit. Muddy Waters contributes “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” from 1954. The library sponsored archivist Alan Lomax’s 1941 expedition to Mississippi, where he originally recorded Waters.

Inductees from the rock era include James Brown‘s 1956 Live at the Apollo, The Beach Boys‘ 1966 Pet Sounds, 1971’s The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East and Public Enemy‘s 1989 Fear of a Black Planet.