The pioneers of album cover design
CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (1)
David Stone Martin
CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (2)
The photographic covers
BLUE NOTE 10" LPs
Searching for a modern jazz identity
BLUE NOTE 1500 series
Defining the hard bop style
BLUE NOTE 4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles
Images of East Coast jazz
Street cred with Thelonious Monk
Moods of Chet and Claxton
Cool West Coast, great Sound
Masterworks by Charlie Parker
Small label, big Bird sound
Bold and striking albums
The classic drummer logo label
The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt
Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach
Legendary, early 1960s LPs
Free jazz and silk screened covers
Edgy and experimental
The high spirit of Jim Flora
VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more
VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more
The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s
The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad
Changing times in the 1960s
New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s
Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz
Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz
Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz
Americans in Paris, force in French jazz
Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz
Jazz labels with strong identity
Rare Italian jazz covers
From Diamonds to ICP in
Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza
Jazz labels around the world
DIAL RECORDS was founded in 1946 in Hollywood by Ross Russell, the owner of a small music shop. Dial
was short-lived, but became one of the most important independent labels for the new bop music - and the
big sound of Bird.
big Bird sound
The label´s first important artist was Charlie "Bird" Parker, and among others were
Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Howard McGhee and Erroll Garner.
Ross Russell was inspired of Milt Gabler´s Commodore concept in New York of a store-based
jazz record label. He was a jazzfan since many years and a serious collector of old 78s from the
Bird, Russell and Earl Coleman
at a Dial session in 1947
He took help from old friends to get started. A college mate, Marvin Freeman, provided financial
backing, and a regular at Russel´s store, Wally Berman, developed the logo and designed the
first album covers. The label´s name was inspired of Russell´s favorite 1920s literary
magazine, The Dial.
Charlie Parker came to California with Dizzy Gillespie in December 1945. He stayed into February
1947. About a half year later, Russell followed him and moved to New York. He sold the music store
and become Dial´s sole owner. In New York he resumed recording Charlie Parker.
Ross Russell with Dizzy Gillespie in 1946
Parker took part in seven of the total 16 sessions Russell arranged 1946-1948. He stopped recording
jazz in 1948, and concentrated on 20th-century classical music. He recorded works of Schoenberg,
Stravinsky, Bartok and others before abanding the Dial label in 1954.
The jazz recordings in the 1940s were issued on 78s, but Dial was among the first to produce
33 rpm jazz albums. Already in 1949 the label issued a 12" LP album.
So even if Ross Russell ceased to record jazz, he remained active in the jazz record business for
some years. Into 1954 he issued about 30 LPs, mostly 10" and just a few 12" LPs.
Russell sold Dial to the Concert Hall record company in 1954. Unfortunately they did not take
care of the unique material. Over the next several years it resurfaced in chaotic order on
various obscure labels. But in the 1970s, Spotlite Records in the UK reissued the Dial
sessions in a series of LPs with the material presented in proper chronological order.
After the years in the record business Ross Russell returned to his first love, writing. He published
a novel about jazz, The Sound, in 1961 and later a non-fiction study, Jazz Style in Kansas City and
the Southwest. In 1973 he published his best known work, the biography of Charlie Parker - Bird Lives!
Ross Russell died in 2000.
Dial Records Discography