I grew up listening to and loving jazz, but it was a mostly long-distance affair.
Jazz lovers in Montana can enjoy thier music, but don't have many opportunities to catch the big name acts of the day. I was able to catch some who are among my favorites -- such as Emily Remler -- but never saw giants like Miles Davis.
But today, co-worker Vic Monaco hipped me to the neatest Web site I've seen in years: Wolfgang's Vault. Holding the archives of decades of live performances on the King Biscuit Flower Hour and other sources, the site has hundreds -- if not thousands -- of live performances in free streaming downloads.
Leaning heavily towards rock and popular music, the site does hold surprises for jazzbos: rememebr Brian Auger's Oblivion Express? Enjoy a Nov. 25, 1975, performance at Winterland.
Didn't catch Weather Report live? Take your choice of the band's Sept. 2, 1973, show at the Lenox Music Inn; the Nov. 29, 1973, show at Cornell University; or a March 2, 1979, gig at the Karl Marx Theater.
For Miles fans, you can choose from seven shows -- but check this out: you can listen to and compare the early show and the late show from two dates in March 1970 at the Fillmore East!
There are also interviews, including a 38-minute George Benson interview from 1979.
Sound quality is ... well, it was the '70s ... certainly professionally made recordings and not boot-legged tapes off somebody's portable tape recorder.
It's almost like being able to go back in time and be there.