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Favorite OJC/Fantasy label...

What is your favorite OJC/Fantasy label?? (and why???!!!!!)   14 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favorite OJC/Fantasy label?? (and why???!!!!!)

    • Fantasy
      0
    • Prestige
      3
    • Galaxy
      0
    • Milestone
      1
    • Riverside
      5
    • Debut
      0
    • Contemporary
      2
    • Jazzland
      0
    • Pablo
      0

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15 posts in this topic

I've gotta admit that for most of my 15 or so years of being interested in jazz (since I was in College back in the late 80's), that I've sorta mentally "blurred" (and often confused) all these labels, since they're all under the "OJC/Fantasy" umbrella. Help me sort them out, so I can begin to give each of them some of their own identities in my own mind, and perhaps more so in yours too...

Here's what little I know about each...

"Fantasy" - don't even know if this label (as a jazz label) has it's own identity, or it it's just the umbrella for everything else??

"Prestige" - What Miles and Trane (and probably lots of others) recorded on in the early and mid 50's.

"Galaxy" - no idea.

"Milestone" - What Joe Henderson was on in the very late 60's and early-to-mid 70's.

"Riverside" - There's a bunch of Bill Evans on Riverside, I think in the late 50's???

"Debut" - no idea.

"Contemporary" - seems to be mostly hard bop stuff in the 60's, maybe similar to Pacific Jazz??

"Jazzland" - no idea.

"Pablo" - I should remember this, but I don't. Aren't there a bunch of Monk recordings on Pablo??

Obviously I need help... :unsure: Thanks!! :)

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I've always had a real soft spot for Contemporary. Their vinyl issues were always superbly recorded and very nicely packaged. Obviously a major labour of love for Lester Koenig, nobly assisted in later years by son John. Distinguished by some classic releases in the 50s of West Coast material (such as the Curtis Counces, Art Peppers, Leroy Vinnegars etc) plus an open-ness to more advanced material such as the Woody Shaw 'Blackstone Legacy' and 'Song of Songs'. Oh - and 'Conflict' too .. :excited::g

'Debut' is also a real fave. Labour of love by Mingus, wife Celia and Max Roach. Somehow they managed to release some amazingly non-commercial material but much of is it absolutely fascinating to hear. Well worth getting the Mingus Debut set to hear this.

Edited by sidewinder

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Don't think I'm dismissing Debut (for Mingus and Thad Jones), Riverside(Bill Evans and Blue Mitchell) and Fantasy(Dave Brubeck) . I love them all but Prestige wins, I love the loose, casual jam session format with RVG's sound. Most of them worked for me, in fact it's hard to think of a real dud.

Contemporay comes second. Good sound, good production and some great ideas.

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Don't forget New Jazz...

As far as I know, New Jazz was a subsidiary of Prestige and most/many of their records were reissued on Prestige. But, hellyeah: don't forget it, they had some great stuff (like Dolphy, Waldron, Carter, etc. etc.)

ubu

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Monk was also on Riverside. Some of his best records. As was Cannonball.

Mr. Keepnews might be sort of a strange man nowadays, but some years ago, he was producing quite a lot of great music!

ubu

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Don't forget New Jazz...

As far as I know, New Jazz was a subsidiary of Prestige and most/many of their records were reissued on Prestige. But, hellyeah: don't forget it, they had some great stuff (like Dolphy, Waldron, Carter, etc. etc.)

ubu

Not only was New Jazz part of Prestige, it preceeded it. From the first session on Jan 11, 1949 (Konitz/Tristano), through November '49 (Wardell), all issues were on New Jazz. The Prestige label was introduced for the Stitt/Bud Powell sides of Dec. 11, 1949.

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Rooster, the histories of all the labels you list (as well as others under the Fantasy umbrella), and all the great artists who recorded for them is a long story. I can see why you'd be confused by all these labels having been lumped together, though. I'd probably be in the same boat, but I got into jazz just in time (70's) to get involved in collecting old LP's, and the labels took on an identity for me before the whole OJC reissue thing really got my attention.

I think the best suggestion I can give you is to (if you haven't already) get ahold of a Fantasy print catalog and go through it carefully. I've been getting these free for years in the mail, as well as the local Tower stores. I usually get a few, and keep them in various rooms (and in the car). Whether or not I'm looking to buy something, these catalogs are a great reference... almost like getting a free discography (personnel, track listings, original catalog numbers.... plus a small color repro of each cover). It's not a "complete" discography of each label, but it's still a great reference. This way you could begin to familiarize yourself with who and what was on each label...

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The Fanasy site has a useful explanation of its history and the absorbed labels here .

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Ubu beat me to this, but I'm gonna say it anyway: Monk recorded his best stuff for Riverside. They also put out a ton of other great music.

And Contemporary has got to be one of the best West Coast labels of all time. If memory serves, Rollins' "Way Out West" was a Contemporary album.

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Which one of these labels (if any) had the most post-1960 "progressive" albums???

I'm really into Andrew Hill, Charles Tolliver, Larry Young, Sam Rivers (on BN), Woody Shaw, Sun Ra's more "inside" stuff, Ornette's Atlantic work, Tyrone Washington, you get the idea. But also Carmell Jones, Gerald Wilson, Blue Mitchel's BN work, Donald Byrd's pre-1971 BN work. And of course, Herbie, Wayne, Miles, all the usual suspects there - for more late 60's stuff.

So, then, what's on these labels that I might like, that I've probably overlooked all these years???

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Rooster Ties, the albums on Prestige/New Jazz by Walt Dickerson, Jaki Byard and Booker Ervin would be right up your street.

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R.T., ... do you have a Fantasy catalog? Ever seen one? Ever been to their website?

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R.T., ... do you have a Fantasy catalog? Ever seen one? Ever been to their website?

The first time I was ever at their web-site was last night (which gave me the idea for this thread!), and I didn't see the "history" link then, until someone pointed it out here in this thread. (And a big "thanks!!" is in order for that.)

I had a Fantasy (paper) catalog years ago, but haven't seen one in probably 4-5 years. Back then, I remember there being lots and lots of people who I really didn't know that well, among a few others who I really did know well (Miles, Monk, Trane, Evans, Mingus, the biggies...)

For better or worse, much of what I know of jazz in the 50's and 60's is from being almost immersed in the Blue Note catalog (getting every title I could and can find), along with most of Miles post-Prestige output, and a smattering of other titles on other labels - lot's of Ornette, for instance.

It's not that I've consciously avoided other labels (and I certainly do have a lot of non-BN recordings if you look at everything I own recorded after 1970. But probably 50% of all my CD's of recordings from the 60's are Blue Notes, maybe closer to 60% perhaps.

Time to play catch-up!!

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