LJC reader Tracy discovered this rarely seen trade promotional pack for Impulse Records, dating I think from 1970 (if the serial number IMPS 70 AUG is anything to go by. Certainly, that is the year Archie Shepp “For Losers” was released). It’s a beauty: sample cover art and gatefolds, which absolutely breathes the turn of the decade, the mood and changing musical directions of the time, spiritual, higher-plane cosmic consciousness, avant-leaning. Take a closer look. Step back nearly fifty years and inhale deeply. Light up a joss-stick if it helps. Or may be something stronger.
“Afro-centric and distinctly spiritual grooves coming out of North America in the latter part of the 60s and early 70s. Its musical landscape was dominated by the politics of the post civil-rights era, the two jazz totems of Miles and Coltrane, the success of soul and its little brother funk. The outcome was a mixture of rhythms from Africa, Detroit and Latin-America, imbued with a healthy dose of free thinking.”
– Soul Jazz Records – “Bridge Into The New Age” – Dean Rudland
I recall reading a Billboard article, I think in relation to Impulse, which referred to sales teams being equipped with a demonstration book, or promotional kit, I don’t recall the exact words, and I can’t find it right now, but I think this what they were referring to. It’s somewhere out among the 30 trillion pages known to Google.
Promo copies for radio stations was a well established part of Impulse marketing . I guess this is a logical extension, get record stores to stock all the releases, increase awareness of the new thing coming out of Impulse at that time – avant and spiritual jazz. Anyone out there seen this before, or even owns a copy, I’m curious how rare this item is.
My Thanks to Tracy for sending in the photos (retouched by LJC).
UPDATE: Impulse Sampler 1972
Eagle-eyed reader David B fired me scans of a 1972 Impulse sampler, another record I haven’t seen before, which also really captures the 70s spirit with Robert Crumb-style “mutant-organic” artwork/cartoon drawing, fantastic machines and fabulous furry freak brothers characters. The scans didn’t quite join up so I’ve Photoshop-polyfillered (is that a word?) small gaps, you get the sense of it.
Thanks, David. And keep on truckin’!
Update 3: (October 4, 2017) No Energy Crisis sampler (1974)
Hot damn! I actually own this. Bought it at the time. Hat tip Ethan.
I have to admit, it was not my sort of music at the time.