Impulse Promotional Pack, 1970 (updated: 3rd sampler 1974)

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.
impulseSampler 1972 front
impulseSampler 1972

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.

Impulse No Energey Crisis 1974 Sampler

I have to admit, it was not my sort of music at the time.


16 thoughts on “Impulse Promotional Pack, 1970 (updated: 3rd sampler 1974)

  1. There is another from 1974, it has an oil drill on the cover and features some of the most avant garde material on the label. The title of the sampler escapes me but i recall it contained an excerpt of Sam Rivers Mold Suite.

  2. Nice post, I think I saw a similar Blue Note package for sale recentlly – did you mention it on here. I’d just like to claim ownership of those words at the top, as they’re from BGP Records ‘Bridge Into The New Age’, which I compiled.

  3. How interesting. Do we know what tracks are on Side One of the album? Given the promotional material photographed above, I’m assuming Ahmad Jamal, Archie Shepp and Buddy Montgomery probably feature.
    I wrote elsewhere about Alice Coltrane’s Ptah, The El Daoud (Egyptian deity, the beloved) in August 2015. I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard and recommended it without reservation. The set was recorded at the Coltrane home studio at the Dix Hills house and includes Turiya and Ramakrishna, a beautiful blues played by Alice Coltrane in E flat Minor on the black keys of the piano. It was her first solo album featuring horns and Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson share the honours. It’s my belief that the rather unusual cover and the spiritual titles are amongst elements that put a lot of potential listeners off and contribute to a relative neglect (although I’m aware that it is well known amongst fellow LJC Forum contributors who are well-represented in earlier replies to this post).
    Montgomery and Coulter are not artist that I know of, nor have I heard the Ahmad Jamal set that is alluded to.

  4. YES Nice post, thats really a stunning item to have in a collection. Reminds me of the insides of the BYG Actuel gatefolds that have a similar graphic feel capturing the period.

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