The Label Fable


The past is the future and the future is the past. Jazz, in one form or another, now plays a huge part in my life. Now, when you speak of Jazz labels and aesthetics, Blue Note immediately springs to mind. Yet here we are at the end of the ‘90s, with recycling booming and Blue Note is losing ground. Their rivals Impulse! Are winning hands down with their gorgeous digipaks, which finally turn the CD into and artform. Sure, who can deny the place of those ‘60s Blue Note sleeves in the scheme of things, but somehow they don’t translate successfully to the harsh realities of the jewel case. Yet Impulse! With their beautiful digipaks set me tingling. If you are going to buy a bonafide classic, get A Love Supreme in it’s glossy CD format. If you are going to buy any Coltrane CD, get Crescent. If you’re going to buy any CD, but the Impulse! Reissues of Alice Coltrane’s Ptah, the El Daoud and Journey Into Satchidananda. Particularly recommended in the recent slew of reissues are Pharaoh Sander’s Thembi and Jewels Of Thought. Archie Shepp’s Mama Too Tight and Sun Ra’s Space Is The Place. And they are mid-price too!