Indie Label Beat

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
I have a European colleague who writes about jazz and possesses a knowledge of labels and their history that is astounding. When we talk about past artists and their various contributions during different periods of their lives, I'm always surprised how often these discussions include considerable time spent on the labels involved. It is amazing how much a knowledge of "label history" can add to the understanding of an artist's oeuvre.

Because there are so many small labels at this writing I thought I would review a few of them whose identity is virtually unknown to the general listener.


From the U.K. comes Edition Records first launched in 2008. Edition showcases British artists (a review of Dave Stapleton appeared in this column a few months back) with cutting edge credentials at European festivals and venues. Presently, the label is set to release work from the Geoff Eales trio, Dave Kane's Rabbit Project, the Mark Lockheart Group and Troyka. Some of these musicians have scored well in festivals at Cannes, Budapest, Cork and Cheltenham. Listening to these interesting artists and musics is a constant reminder of the movement of jazz as a world art form and Edition Records is a valuable chronicler of this phenomenon.


Susie Meissner, from the Philadelphia club and cabaret circuit, is set to release her new outing I'll Remember April on the LydianJazz label. The CD is a retrospective of standards interpreted with an operetta-like flair. Pianist Lenore Raphael displays her wares in a concert recording dubbed Live at Steinway Hall on the Swingin' Fox Music label. Ms. Raphael embraces the standard repertoire with a sagacious eye that has espied geniuses as disparate as Charlie Parker and Johnny Mercer. Chanteuse Meryl Romer ushers forth a captivating 1920's Mae West persona as she delivers the standards with memorable individualism. The session, So Sure from LadyPearl Music, features some swinging sidemen including reedman Robert Kyle and keyboardist/conductor Erik Deutsch.

Inner Knot

The Crimson Jazz Trio, westcoasters who are rarely heard in my part of the world are releasing the King Crimson Songbook vol. 2 on the Inner Knot label. The outing was the last on this earth for drummer Ian Wallace and it scintillates. The trio is joined by tenorist Mel Collins in original compositions which reflect a cohesion that would certainly be welcome here in Gotham. Go East young men!

Post a comment


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...


Jazz article: Eliane Elias: A Study in Longevity
Jazz article: Canadian Jazz: Remembering Maynard Ferguson
Jazz article: French Gypsy Jazz
New York Beat
French Gypsy Jazz
Jazz article: Gretchen Parlato at The Jazz Standard


Read Charles Mingus: An Essential Top Ten Albums
Read Top Ten Kennedy Center Musical Moments

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.