Savory Collection Vol.1 | Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Coleman Hawkins

The Savory Collection, Vol. 1
Body and Soul – Coleman Hawkins and Friends

Never – before – heard, live performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins and Fats Waller in their prime.

Available exclusively on Apple Music.


It’s a jazz lover’s dream come true. Created by recording engineer William Savory, and long only rumored to exist, the complete Savory Collection includes more than 100 hours of recordings made from live radio broadcasts between 1935 and 1941 and never heard since their initial airing. These extended nightclub and ballroom performances are longer and creatively daring as the artists were freed from the constraints of a conventional studio recording. And thanks to the genius of Bill Savory, they’re of higher fidelity than ever thought possible.

Volume 1 includes 18 stellar tracks recorded by Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Lionel Hampton, Carl Kress and Emilio Caceres, along with a foreword by noted historian and filmmaker Ken Burns.

The title track, “Body and Soul,” was recorded just 8-months after Hawkins’s iconic studio version and in 2010 topped JazzTimes‘ annual best-of list. “Some recordings seem as if they were meant to survive,” wrote New York Times critic Ben Ratliff, “as if they were too good not to.”

Other highlights include 21-year-old Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb swinging their breakout hit “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” and a free-flowing jam session with Lionel Hampton featuring tenorman Hershel Evan’s last known recordings.

Taken together these recordings are an educational gem, an authentic record of our rich musical heritage that adds new layers to the story of jazz as we know it.

Rescuing a Lost Era of Jazz History

Savory Collection Vol. 1 Tracks & Personnel

May 17, 1940
Coleman Hawkins, ts.,Thelma Carpenter, voc.

Probable personnel: Tommy Stevenson, Joe Guy, Tommy Lindsay, Nelson Bryant (tp), William Cato, Claude Jones, Sandy Williams (tb), Eustis Moore, Jackie Fields (as), Ernie Powell, Kermit Scott, (ts), Gene Rodgers (p), Gene Fields (g), Billy Taylor (b),

  1. C. Heard (dm)
  2. Body and Soul
  3. Basin Street Blues
  4. Lazy Butterfly (Theme)

August 13, 1938
Ella Fitzgerald (voc), Chick Webb (d) accompanied by unknown personnel from CBS Studio Orchestra

  1. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
  2. I’ve Been Saving Myself for You

October 22, 1938
Herman Autrey (tp), Gene Sedric (cl,ts), Fats Waller (p, voc),Al Casey (g) Cedric Wallace (b) Slick Jones (d)

  1. Yacht Club Swing/ Hold My Hand (Medley)
  2. I Haven’t Changed A Thing
  3. Summer Souvenirs / Who Blew Out The Flame (Medley)
  4. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby/ Sixty Seconds Got Together/ I’ve Got A Pocketful of Dreams (Medley)
  5. Alligator Crawl
  6. Spider and The Fly

December 28, 1938
Charlie Shavers (tp), Vernon Brown (tb), Dave Matthews (as), Herschel Evans (ts), Howard Smith (p), Milt Hinton (b), Cozy Cole (d), Lionel Hampton (vib, p, voc).

  1. Dinah
  2. Blues
  3. Chinatown, My Chinatown
  4. Stardust
  5. Rosetta

March 29, 1936
Carl Kress, Dick McDonough (g)

  1. Heat Wave

October 19, 1937
Ernie Caceres (cl, bar), Johnny Gomez (g), Emilio Caceres (vln)

  1. China Boy

About Bill Savory

We are thrilled to finally share the wonders of the Savory Collection with the rest of the world. It’s the end of a 36-year quest that is centered on the wondrously strange, brilliant and unique William Alcott Savory (1916-2004). A trained musician, audio engineer who also served the U.S. Navy both in developing their radar technology and as a test pilot (and this is just the tip of his biographical iceberg), Bill Savory was first and foremost a music lover who single handedly captured hundreds of hours of top-shelf music off the air in the six years preceding America’s entry into World War II. His story is truly worthy of a major biography, and over the course of this series of recordings, we will share several reflections on his life and legacy. In this initial volume, however, we focus exclusively on the music.

Contrary to common belief, Savory had nothing to do with the radio broadcasts themselves outside of recording them in New York at the transcription studio at which he was employed. He was not there in person at the broadcasts nor did he produce the music himself. But his genius was in selecting such outstanding moments from the more than 50,000 hours of radio programming to which he had access over the course of those 6 years.

I met Bill Savory in 1980 during my first year working with Benny Goodman. My first question for him was how he had selected the best of his Goodman broadcast recordings for a 1953 Columbia LP set – they were all so wonderful, it must have been a challenge, I assumed. Savory’s reply was that it wasn’t hard at all – he had just picked the best from what was in the first box. That was all I had to hear, and it launched a 24 year crusade to gain access to those other boxes. It was all in vain – with just a few exceptions, Savory didn’t share these treasures with anyone else. Six years later, I was introduced to Bill’s son, Gene. Within a few months, through the generosity of both Gene and NJMH Board Chair Jonathan Scheuer, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the collection. By far the biggest surprise was that the Goodman recordings comprised less than half of the collection, and now you can hear the wonderful sounds that Bill Savory preserved and then sat on for over half a century.

Loren Schoenberg
Founding Director and Senior Scholar,
National Jazz Museum in Harlem