Jazz fans, rejoice: The Library of Congress has discovered a treasure-trove of unreleased tapes featuring a 1957 Carnegie Hall performance by legendary saxophonist John Coltrane with pianist Thelonious Monk.
"It's profound. These tapes are a major find," Larry Appelbaum, a recording engineer and jazz specialist at the library, tells us. "They're extraordinary."
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He recently discovered the mono-acetate tapes among material to be digitized as part of an audio preservation program. They also captured performances that same evening by Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra and the Zoot Sims Quartet with Chet Baker.
The recordings, made by the Voice of America for broadcast overseas, have never been heard in the United States, the library said in its announcement last week. Researchers are welcome to hear the high-resolution digital files, which feature 55 minutes of the Monk Quartet with Coltrane. The set includes "Evidence," "Monk's Mood," "Crepuscule With Nellie," "Nutty" and "Epistrophy."
Appelbaum, who also has a jazz show on WPFW-FM, says "prospects look good" for the music's eventual commercial release. "We are optimistic that a record label will secure all necessary permissions and clearances to issue these performances."
He added: "It's too good to sit on a shelf."
From Tom Clancy, An Eye-Opening Gift
Tom Clancy is proving to be as serious about philanthropy as he is about writing spy thrillers. The Baltimore-born author donated $2 million Friday to Johns Hopkins University's Wilmer Eye Institute to fund a new professorship in ophthalmology. The reason?
"They fixed my eyes," he told us.
Four years ago he was diagnosed as having pathological myopia, a rare type of nearsightedness that can lead to major vision loss. "My glasses were bulletproof, and now I don't wear glasses to drive a car anymore."
The donation was Clancy's second major one to Hopkins: In 2001 he gave $2.1 million to the hospital's Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"Hopkins has made the best hospital in the world," he said. "They push back the frontiers of human knowledge. I think that's the best thing a person can do."
Aside: Cathy Ryan, wife of fictional Clancy hero Jack Ryan, is a surgeon at Wilmer.
Finding the Right One
Love on the right: Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, 40, is getting hitched to Washington businessman James V. Reyes, 42. They got engaged April 2 and plan a Catholic wedding in late May or early June. We hear the happy couple was introduced last year by their mutual friend Dave Pollin, nephew of developer Abe Pollin.
Meanwhile, conservative activist Grover Norquist, 48, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, and Samah Alrayyes, 32, who does public affairs and public diplomacy work at USAID, exchanged vows April 2. A friend of the bride and groom, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, presided and the reception featured a belly dancer. The always-quotable groom told us Friday: "This is fun! I'm wearing a ring and everything."
Hollywood liberals are joining the blogosphere, thanks to Arianna Huffington, a convert to left-leaning politics.
Warren Beatty, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Geffen, Barry Diller, The Post's own Tina Brown, Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and others have signed onto the concept of group blogging for the Huffington Report, according to the New York Observer.
The site, set to launch sometime in May, evidently wants to be an alternative to the immensely popular Drudge Report, granddaddy of slanted Internet news sites. Matt Drudge "does a very industrious job of finding the things that he feels could be exploited to further the political agenda of the far right," Beatty told the Observer last week. Scoffed Drudge: "I look forward to the Warren Beatty News Network."
Meanwhile, Patricia Heaton, one of Tinseltown's few GOP stars, is coming to town Tuesday. The 47-year-old co-star of TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond," honorary chair of Feminists for Life, will speak to the group on the topic "Pro-Life in Hollywood: What It's Really Like." A bevy of Republican lawmakers is hosting the event, including Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia. "Abortion is a huge disservice to women," Heaton, a mother of four, opined on Bill O'Reilly's show in 2002.
Annals of Puffery
An Occasional Verbatim Press Release
"Dr. John F. Murray, internationally-known sport psychologist and author of the best-selling 'Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game,' promises that healthy narcissism, science and Uri Geller's inspiration will help him and thousands of others overcome America's No. 1 health problem: obesity. 'Work has taken a toll on my physique over the past five years, but it's never too late to shape up,' he says. . . . 'Knowledge is needed, but it's never enough for change. Proper inspiration and self-love are worth more than a thousand bent gold spoons!' "
With Michael Cotterman