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Rediscovering The Enormous Social And Spiritual Legacy Of Black Jazz Records


Doug and Jean Carn, in a detail from the cover of their album Spirit of the New Land.

Image of courtesy of Real Gone Music.

During the 60s and 70s, the jazz community was booming with artist-run labels and collectives, including the notable Black Jazz Records. In this NPR feature, writer Martin Johnson digs into the history of the record-label and its founders pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory. In a lineup of labels including Sun Ra's El Saturn Records and Betty Carter's Bet-Car, Black Jazz Records pushed the boundaries of what Jazz music and music of the Black Diaspora sounded like.

"The breadth of the work is exceptional; even from an era where musical boundaries blurred, the Black Records sound is unusually diverse."