From 1957 to 1965 legendary photographer W. Eugene Smith made approximately 4,000 hours of recordings on 1,741 reel-to-reel tapes and nearly 40,000 photographs in a loft building in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where major jazz musicians of the day gathered and played their music. The tapes, photographs, and oral histories of surviving loft participants conducted by the Jazz Loft Project at Duke University provide a unique documentary portrait of an underground crossroads where urban American life and music legends left their tracks. In 2003 CDS Research Associate Dan Partridge joined the project full-time and became one of the most specialized employees at Duke University, being the first to hear the set of 5,089 compact discs that Smith's 1,740 reels of tape yielded in the preservation process

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