Other UK record labels releasing / re-issuing modern jazz
The labels shown here are those not already covered with their own page in my Guide to Record Labels.Some released original material, others are simply small-scale reissue labels, others are specialist vehicles owned by one musician for their own work, and the UK distribution chanels for the American movie giants . Where possible I have included relevant run-out etchings to help identify the pressing plant. All photos taken from records in my own collection.
Alan Bates Black Lion Records, along with his “Freedom” label, uniquely issued a catalogue of adventurous and free jazz, in the face of the total rock and pop saturation of 70’s and 80’s mainstream culture. The above example is pressed by UK Philips no less. Bates is no Van Gelder and the recording and mastering is a trifle lacking, but to be applauded nevertheless, and the material is often original and not available elsewhere.
BLACK LION – DUTCH STEREO
CAPITOL USA ( UK RELEASE: EMI )
UK reissue vehicle for Charlie Parker records and music, to generate royalties on Parker compositions rather than original recordings of Parker. Similar to the Summit label. Acceptable quality, though nothing special.
Heavyweight vinyl from the Sixties, with many Savoy reissues on board. Not recognised as “collectible” and so often very cheap and good value.
Not a label known to me, apart from this one Tommy Whittle recording.
Jasmine, without whom we would not have access to those great but impossible to afford Tempo recordings which Decca “lost” in the Seventies. Based in Beckenham in a more leafy suburb of South London, Jasmine continue their output of classic record reissues today, but on CD. Very affordable vinyl, not hard to find, and above average quality in most cases, though falling some way short of originals.
Vintage ’60s British reissue vehicle for US recordings, many from Vee-Jay Records, Hollywood. Pictured here, a Lee Morgan date with “Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers”,
High quality 60’s vintage pressing on heavy vinyl, could be a Decca contract pressing or another independent plant, not obvious who.
80’s reissue label from the London jazz record shop Mole Jazz, of Euston Road, London. Very small and selective catalogue. The run-out bears the name “RAYS” – the “rival” West End record shop of Shaftesbury Avenue in those days, Rays Jazz.
ONE UP (EMI sub-label)
Label sample 1959
PYE (Pye Jazz)
From the matrix, it looks to me not unlike a CBS/ Oriole pressing, apart from the additional letters. If so, which would explain why Pye generally sound so poor. I recommend avoiding Pye – they don’t sound good at all..
Spotlite Records is a British jazz record label, founded in 1968 by producer Tony Williams, originally as an outlet for Charlie Parker’s Dial recordings. It has reissued other Dial masters, and undertaken new recordings. Pressings and mastering is uneven – some remarkably good, others somewhere indifferent.
STEAM (Stan Tracy)
Pianist Stan Tracy’s personal imprint. Not bad audio, but not quite to the standard achieved by original mastering and pressing by EMI of his classic 60’s recordings (Jazz Suite) Tracey is still playing today.
UK release vehicle for Charlie Parker Records, in a venture formed by Aubrey Mayhew and Parker’s widow Chan, who went on to marry Phil Woods – citation needed!
WAVE (Peter Ind/ Lee Konitz)
A dozen or two catalogue mostly Lee Konitz, Sam Mosca, Peter Ind. Apart from playing bass, Ind was a recording engineer and I guess Wave was his effort to publish hie own work in collaboration with Lee Konitz.
WORLD RECORD CLUB
Varied catalogue destined for mail order club release. Quite acceptable pressing quality from the club, headquarters in the delightful riverside suburb of Richmond, West London.
Johnny Griffin, and Sahib Shihab UK releases which are very sought after, impossibly expensive in their original European (German Vogue) edition.
Work in progress