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The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

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AMERICAN LABELS

COLUMBIA RECORDS
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

PRESTIGE RECORDS
Images of East Coast jazz

RIVERSIDE RECORDS
Street cred with Thelonious Monk

PACIFIC JAZZ
Moods of Chet and Claxton

CONTEMPORARY
Cool West Coast, great Sound

SAVOY RECORDS
Masterworks by Charlie Parker

DIAL RECORDS
Small label, big Bird sound

ATLANTIC RECORDS
Bold and striking albums

EMARCY RECORDS
The classic drummer logo label

BETHLEHEM RECORDS
The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

DEBUT RECORDS
Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

CANDID RECORDS
Legendary, early 1960s LPs

ESP-DISK
Free jazz and silk screened covers

IMPULSE RECORDS
Edgy and experimental

RCA VICTOR
The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

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



EUROPEAN LABELS

SWEDEN (1)
The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

SWEDEN (2)
The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

SWEDEN (3)
Changing times in the 1960s

SWEDEN (4)
New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

DENMARK
Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

NORWAY
Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

FINLAND
Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

FRANCE
Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

ENGLAND
Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

GERMANY
Jazz labels with strong identity

ITALY
Rare Italian jazz covers

HOLLAND
From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

POLAND
Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza


OTHER COUNTRIES
Jazz labels around the world







          

Dial Records

Small label,
big Bird sound

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.

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 twenties.

   
    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.




LINKS

Dial Records Discography
jazzdiscorg.com


ROSS RUSSELL
birdlives.co.uk


 Bebop Jazz, vol. 2   Label: Dial 1020-22   78 rpm album 1940s   Design: Wally Berman 

Dial Records

 Charlie Parker, vol. 1   Label: Dial 201   10" LP 1949
 
 

   Vol. 2 and 3 of Dials Charlie Parker 10" series, Dial 202 and 203. Issued in 1949.
 
 

   The fourth and last volume (Dial 207) have the same cartoonish cover art as the previous.
To the right the first cover alternate, probably mostly used for mail orders.
 
 

 Dexter Gordon   Label: Dial 204   10" LP 1950
 
 

 Erroll Garner´ Cocktail Time   Label: Dial 205   10" LP 1950
 
 

 Art Tatum Trio   Label: Dial 206   10" LP 1950
 
 

   Dodo Marmarosa: Piano Moods (Dial 2008) and James Moody (Dial 2009)
Both 10" LPs from 1950
 
 

    Charlie Parker: The Bird Blows the Blues   Label: Dial 901   12" LP c.1950
The first Parker LP in the 12" format came in 1949, and was issued as a promo edition without cover. The first regular issue came about a year later and is known with two different covers (above). The cover to the right is illustrated by Bruce Mitchell.  
 

 Charlie Parker: Alternate Masters, Vol. 1   Label: Dial 904   12" LP c.1950
 Illustration: Bruce Mitchell
 
 

 Charlie Parker: Alternate Masters, Vol. 2   Label: Dial 905   12" LP c.1950
 Illustration: Bruce Mitchell
 
 

 Django Reindhardt   Label: Dial 218   10" LP 1952   Design: Burt Goldblatt
 
 

 
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