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The Blues Period: The First Decade of Nola Blue Records, 2014-2024

Read "The Blues Period: The First Decade of Nola Blue Records, 2014-2024" reviewed by Scott Gudell


Start with a degree in Business Administration and Management and you might just wind up running and owning a record company. Sounds like a long shot but that's what happened to Sallie Bengtson in 2014 when her passion for all things blues--especially if it has something to do with jny: New Orleans--inspired her to visit the city. “It started with the atmosphere--it's a gumbo of the architecture, the food, the music and the spirit. “It's 'my' place" she recalled during ...

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The Mosaic Records Story

Read "The Mosaic Records Story" reviewed by Michael Cuscuna


In memory of Mosaic Records co-founder Michael Cuscuna (1948-2024). Although Mosaic Records' first release came out in July of 1983, the seeds for the business were planted in 1970. As a journalist, radio show host and record producer, I began coming into contact with many musicians who had been major players in Blue Note's repertory company. Since Blue Note had always been my favorite label for its consistent quality, conversations would ultimately drift to those great days of ...

9

Edition Records: A Guide To The First Fifteen Years

Read "Edition Records: A Guide To The First Fifteen Years" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Edition Records celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2023. The label founded in Cardiff in 2008 by keyboardist Dave Stapleton has come a long way in that time. Initially conceived of as a means to release his own music and that of his friends, Edition Records went from being a cottage industry to a position as one of hottest European jazz labels in just a few short years. Since 2014, when Stapleton signed tenor saxophonist Chris Potter to the ...

4

Rhythm And Blues Records: Small But Perfectly Formed

Read "Rhythm And Blues Records: Small But Perfectly Formed" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Back in 2007, music fan Nick Duckett walked into a record shop hoping to buy a comprehensive history of rhythm and blues on CD. To his surprise, the owner told him no such set existed at the time. Having a bit of time on his hands, Duckett thought to himself, “Well, there bloody ought to be?" From that small acorn, the oak that would become Rhythm and Blues Records took root. The Middlesex-based UK label now boasts some ...

14

We Jazz Records: Finland's indie label shaking up the global conversation

Read "We Jazz Records: Finland's indie label shaking up the global conversation" reviewed by Rob Garratt


The past decade's genre-bending jazz renaissance has been well-documented, but between the trailblazing players taking improvised music to increasingly hip places, and the ever-growing audience queuing up to hear them, sits the homegrown labels bottling these brave, thrilling (r)evolutions for all to hear. In conversations about the state of jazz today, it's often easier to distil the music's disparate scenes and sounds by referring to the labels who document them, instead of the musicians who play it. And it's not ...

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Jazz World Records: From Hong Kong with Love

Read "Jazz World Records: From Hong Kong with Love" reviewed by Rob Garratt


"I've had plenty of labels in the past—three or four, I can't remember—and I always swore I'd never do it again," begins Clarence Chang as he sits down to lunch. And yet here we are, chewing linguine and discussing the label he just founded, Jazz World Records. “The only true jazz label in HK" proudly claims the new venture's online bio. If creating an indie imprint of any kind is a distinctly brave proposition in 2022, then ...

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Analog Africa: digging deeper into gold mines of global groove

Read "Analog Africa: digging deeper into gold mines of global groove" reviewed by Rob Garratt


For casual but curious collectors of eclectic sounds and global grooves, Analog Africa might be the Holy Grail. Since being founded in Germany by Samy Ben Redjeb in 2006, the Tunisian crate digger's deeply personal and highly idiosyncratic imprint has birthed a steady stream of 40 peerless releases and counting—carefully curated collections of rare and obscure analogue-era recordings which invariably act as thrilling sonic transporters, touristic time capsules and irresistible dance-floor fillers. The story begins in 2000 when ...

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Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz

Read "Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


While pop often follows predictable musical patterns, one of the greatest qualities about jazz is its sense of adventurousness and the ability to take the listener on a journey where the destination is unknown. The Astral Spirits label, based in jny: Austin, Texas, and run by musician Nate Cross, truly embraces this quality of jazz. This year, 2019, the label celebrates its five-year anniversary and the quality and scope of the catalog is already dazzling with 100+ releases ...

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Aspen Edities: The Album as a Work of Art

Read "Aspen Edities: The Album as a Work of Art" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


It's a paradox of the digital age that it has spawned some of the most beautiful physical editions of music, but perhaps it's quite logical. In an age where almost everything becomes available digitally, it's a good thing for a physical product to distinguish itself. This is exactly what the records from the Belgian-based label Aspen Edities do. Run by musicians Ruben Machtelinckx and Niels Van Heertum and writer Sanne Huysmans, the label has released delicate editions that are a ...

9

ECM @ 50

Read "ECM @ 50" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


2019 marks the 50th anniversary of German record label ECM Records. Since its founding by Manfred Eicher the label has maintained unwavering standards of excellence, characterized by an unmistakable visual identity and rigorous production values. In addition to some 20 concerts featuring ECM artists, the 2019 Big Ears Festival (full review here) also hosted an “ECM @ 50" panel discussion. Moderated by critic and author Nate Chinen, the panelists were guitarist David Torn; pianists Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn and Nik ...


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