Arthur Russell archive acquired by NY Public Library
The archives of late pioneering NYC musician Arthur Russell have been acquired by the New York Public Library, including never-before-heard recordings, plus photographs, lyrics and notes. From the NY Times:
The library acquired the archive — 166 linear feet — from Russell’s estate, which is shepherded by Tom Lee, Russell’s partner. (The library doesn’t comment on the terms of its acquisitions.) It includes a thousand-or-so reels, cassettes, DATs, Beta and VHS tapes with hundreds of hours of unreleased and probably unreleasable material, representing how Russell made his work — laying down individual tracks, or practicing, or jamming — often in long sessions, and with musicians who may have had little idea what they were working on at the time. He kept many versions of songs. One example in the collection, recorded on a TDK-90 cassette tape over remixes of Salsoul-label disco by Walter Gibbons, contains a version of Russell’s song “My Tiger My Timing” sung with Jennifer Warnes. It becomes a long mantra of blissful pop hooks: practice becoming ritual, extended over a whole side of a tape.
The NYPL plans on digitizing all of it, a process that may take up to a year, and making it available for listening/viewing in the library. Stay tuned.
Listen to Arthur Russell's Another Thought, below.