1 янв. 2013 г.

The Wide Weird World Of Henry Jacobs

Concerning the Henry Jacobs' archival tapes, the several of them found underneath Henrys' old house in Mill Valley, you should know that Sandy has tapes hidden away in many places, usually along long stretches of inaccessible beaches, hence his nickname. The fact that this set of tapes was found under one of his houses and not along a long beach is a deviation from the norm, one that history will thank you for.

- Ken Nordine, "Father of Word Jazz"

Restored, sequenced, and mastered by Jack Dangers at Tape Lab (www.tapelab.org) with input from Henry Jacobs and Alex Artaud:


Several summers ago, I got a call from Jack Dangers. An acquaintance had just purchased a house in Mill Valley, CA and had found a large collection of tapes and records beneath the house covered in dirt. "It might be Henry Jacobs' old place," he said. Jack had come across Jacobs' recordings during his many sessions of record hunting and the artist's unique, free-form style had made a deep impression. I grabbed my reel-to-reel deck and headed over.
We arrived to find a mess of roughly eighty tapes plus an assortment of 45s scattered in the corner of a room and covered in grime. Much of the tapes looked unplayable, some in battered boxes, others without. Scattered through the debris were radio programs, nightclub recordings, ether trips, goof conversations, and more. On the back of one record titled 'Laughing String' read the credit "Engineering: HENRY JACOBS".
We packed the car and headed back to Jack's studio. Picking a tape at random, we cleaned it, threaded the tape on a Revox two-track and pressed play. The tape hissed to life: "Your reporter Bruce Wilkinson on the microphone..." For the next three days, we listened to material covering a ten-year period, the discarded archive a wild time capsule of audio silliness and innovation.
Actually finding Jacobs wasn't too difficult. We called filmmaker Jordan Belson, who collaborated with him in the late '50s and still lived in San Francisco. He told us that Jacobs was living in West Marin in a small town an hour north of San Francisco, and passed along the phone number. In the spring of 2000 we got up the nerve to call him. A now-familiar voice came over the line. Telling him we were fans, we said we'd love to meet him. He was delighted and set up a time.
Jacobs greeted us with a big smile and said we could call him Henry or his nickname 'Sandy' if we prefer. He shared stories of his travels, of moving to West Marin in the 1970s, and of losing most of his master recordings in a devastating forest fire that consumed his home in 1995. We coyly asked him if he'd remembered leaving anything behind in the Mill Valley house about 30 years earlier. Before he had a chance to recall, we hauled out a large plastic box filled with his now cleaned-up tapes. "I believe these belong to you," said Jack. He wasn't sure what he was looking at, until he read the titles on the tape boxes. "Oh, yeah, these were in the old house," Sandy remembered. "Where did you find them?" 
- Alex Artaud

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