Public Domain Jazz?

Dear LazyWeb,

I write this blog entry in order to have your advice! Anyone know good sources of cool or quirky Jazz music that has entered the public domain (or old stuff released under very liberal open content licenses)?

Thanks, swingstars!


  1. I like the collection of old tunes that holds. I have found a number of genuine gems looking for blues and jazz stuff. The only small inconvenience is that I find the “browsing” mode of the site a little awkward. It’s basically a search engine that throws anything it finds at you through an ugly interface, but with a little luck you may find something you like. For a starting point, see for example:

  2. Aka Moon is a great Belgium Jazz band. Most of their live music can be downloaded. Check out their website: You can also find them over torrent and p2p network, which are medias they use a lot to share their music.

  3. It seems like you’re getting a lot of folks posting new releases of CC-licensed jazz performances, but you asked for old public-domain jazz as well.

    I’m not sure where to find the actual recordings on the Internet, but the US Library of Congress has large collections of public-domain musical recordings and other media from all over the world. The only reason they do this is because Thomas Jefferson donated his entire personal library after a Capitol fire, so the LoC started with a mandate as encompassing as Jefferson’s own tastes.

    There are also public-domain performances that you can purchase at any record store, but you’d never know it to look at the packaging. When the CD came out, lots of companies reissued old collections of 68s and such in compilations, and asserted a compilation copyright. So you can go out and buy an old Verve or Mercury reissue of some Duke Ellington or something, and check up with on the individual track to see if the copyright has lapsed.

    Alas, I don’t know of any ccmixter-like collections of public domain Jazz recordings.

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