The Savory Collection

The Savory Collection

A jazz lover’s dream come true, the Savory Collection features never-before-heard live recordings of jazz legends at the height of their careers. Created by recording engineer William Savory, the collection includes more than 100 hours of recordings made from live New York City radio broadcasts between 1935 and 1941. Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Django Reinhardt, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Jordan, Lennie Tristano and Bunny Berigan are all showcased in the Savory Collection.


Packed away for decades and only rumored to exist, the Savory ¬†Collection was acquired by the Museum in 2010 and has made headlines around the world- in The New York Times, BBC, NPR, Newsweek and more. The Savory Collection is a prized addition to the Museum’s continuously expanding archive of jazz artifacts.


After a 30-year quest The National Jazz Museum of Harlem was proud to acquire The Savory Collection in 2010. Comprised of over 1,000 recordings taken off the air between 1935 and 1940 and never heard since its initial broadcast. The collection features new music by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday.

Audio samples of this treasure trove of original recordings can be heard below as well as on the NY Times website, where our acquisition of the collection was reported on in detail. Additional press coverage of the acquisition is listed on the Savory Press page. There are many legal issues to be cleared before we can share any more on the web than these short bits. However, the material is available for listening by appointment in our Visitors Center. To listen, please call to schedule 212-348-8300.

Audio Samples

Please note that the audio samples here are straight off the discs with no restoration work – that will follow. In the meantime, please enjoy these musical samples: