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Record Label Profiles

Harkit Records

By Published: April 8, 2006
While a majority of these sessions feature US frontmen in the context of Stan Tracey's house band, the aforementioned Hayes, who many consider Britain's foremost jazz musician, did call Scott's home. His two volumes recorded at Scott's showcase a prodigious tenor master whose working band could bop with the best. Although Hayes may not have gotten the double meaning of Dizzy's "Two Bass Hit , he rounds second easily and heads for home on a screaming rendition of this classic. In his quintet, Hayes clearly had an awesomely talented trumpeter by his side in Jimmy Deuchar. Hayes subsequently moved in a harmonic direction inspired by Trane and this is effectively captured on both the double CD Live at the Dancing Slipper with his quartet and Live at the Hopbine that in addition features the tenor playing of Tommy Whittle. When taken together, these four releases, recorded when Hayes was in his prime, paint the picture of an an evolving dynamic player whose death in 1973 at the age of 38 robbed British jazz of one of its strongest voices of the time.

Singular artists who re-defined the boundaries of their instruments also visited Scott's. The unique chordal brilliance of pianist Bill Evans and his mid '60s trio of bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Larry Bunker, the soulfully meditative multi-instrumental warmth of Yusef Lateef, t-bone master J. J. Johnson and no holds barred performer Roland Kirk each have their own Live in London offering. A special bonus on many releases are in-depth interviews that give an inside look into these instrumental giants at the pinnacles of their careers.

Fishberg views the label's immediate future as continuing the archive concept but also as providing a forum for current working British bands to release new projects, "Two further archives from broadcasting organizations are currently being considered. We plan to make an announcement in the summer about these tremendously important collections...We have for the past three years been looking for a cutting edge unsigned contemporary jazz act and we have recently signed Delphy and their debut album to Harkit. Such offerings will have New York Jazz fans quickly realizing that Harkit is definitely their cup of tea.

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