Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

No one has as many fingerprints on as many classic jazz recordings as Rudy Van Gelder who died last week at the age of 91. Not a producer or arranger, but a fantastically talented engineer who recorded some of the greatest jazz albums of all time in his studios in both Hackensack and Englewood Cliffs.

Mr. Van Gelder also served as a mastering engineer for albums not recorded in his studio and made mobile recordings of some of the greatest live jazz performances ever captured on tape (Mr. Van Gelder also heralded the use of tape in recording before much of the sound community embraced it). He was a hero of jazz music, but also a titan of the New Jersey music scene. With his talents, Mr. Van Gelder could have set up shop anywhere, but he chose to stay in New Jersey for his entire career.

This week, we revisit a broadcast commemorating his 90th birthday. Next week, you’ll hear a brand new show memorializing his recordings and further discussing his life.

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