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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







         

Impulse Records

Edgy and experimental

IMPULSE was started by Creed Taylor in 1960 as a subsidiary label of ABC-Paramount. It was an edgy, experimental jazz label that became one of the most influential in jazz.

John Coltrane was the new label´s first major signing. He, and the other artists on Impulse, were given a great deal of artistic freedom. Coltrane recorded more than 20 albums for the label. During the course of his later years he was given carte blanche to record as often as he wished.


Superb sound and deluxe covers

The Impulse records are known for their superb sound by the engineer Rudy Van Gelder and not least for their deluxe gatefold covers, with distinctive design dominated by high quality photography and the orange-and-black on the cover spine and record label.

The graphic look was a result of a creative dialogue between producer Creed Taylor and designer Robert Flynn. Also ABC-Paramount's designer Fran Attaway was involved. The orange-and-black was chosen for its brightness, and for the fact that no other company employed it.


Cutting-edge photographers

Creed Taylor credits Fran Attaway for the choice of colours and also for establishing the tradition of employing cutting-edge photographers for the covers. She brought in Peter Turner, Roy DeCarava, Charles Stewart, Arnold Newman among others whose portraits and images adorned the Impulse covers. Fran Attaway, then known as Fran Scott and the wife of clarinetist Tony Scott, soon left her job for travelling in Asia with her husband.

Also the founder and producer Creed Taylor left the company after a while. He found the initial sound and look, and produced the first six albums, then he went to Verve Records. He was succeeded by Bob Thiele, who came to produce most of the Impulse albums.

   
    Bob Thiele and John Coltrane in 1963

The first Impulse album was "The Great Kai & J.J.". The cover was designed by Robert Flynn with a photo by Arnold Newman. Flynn continued to design numerous of covers during the 1960s. Impulse issued more than 300 albums into 1977. The company was sold to MCA Records in 1979.

         



ARNOLD NEWMAN is one of the 20th century´s most renowned portraits photographers. He pioneered the style to place the subject in a carefully composed setting, capturing the essence of their work and personality.

He was born in New York in 1918. From the 1940s he worked as a freelance photographer for magazines like Life, Newsweek, Times and New Yorker, among others.

He photographed leaders of world culture and society as well as everyday people and he took memorable portraits of famous people like John F. Kennedy, Igor Stavinsky, Pablo Picasso and many others.

CHARLES STEWART, also know as "Chuck", is an afro-american photographer from New York who has been a part of the jazz world since the early 1950s.

In his book "Chuck Stewart's Jazz Files" hed said that he probably worked for more record companies, and produced more photo-visuals for albums, than any other free-lance, independent photographer in the world.

His jazz photographs have also appeard in books and magazines, and he has worked in editorial, travel and fashion photography.

Among his finest work is the many covers for Impulse in the 1960s.

PETER TURNER´s fine jazz photography is best know as a result of his collaboration with producer Creed Taylor. Their relationship started with ABC-Paramount in the 1950s, and continued with Impulse, Verve and CTI.

Their work have graced some of finest album covers of the 1960's and 1970s. Pete Turner pushed the medium of photography to achieve an uncompromising statement in bold color and composition that became his signature.


        Creed Taylor in the late 1950s




See also

The ABC-Paramount covers are found at
Various US labels  (1)



LINKS

Impulse Discography
jazzdiscorg.com


 John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard   Label: Impulse A-10   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Pete Turner

IMPULSE!

 The Great J.J. & Kai   Label: Impulse A-1   12" LP 1960
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Arnold Newman
 
 

 Gil Evans: Out Of The Cool   Label: Impulse A-4   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Arnold Newman
 
 

 The Blues and the Abstract Truth   Label: Impulse A-5   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Pete Turner
 
 

 The Blues and the Abstract Truth   Label: Impulse A-5   12" LP 1961
 New cover. Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane: Africa / Brass   Label: Impulse A-6   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Ted Russell
 
 

 Max Roach: Percussion Bitter Sweet   Label: Impulse A-8   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Bob Gomel
 
 

 Benny Carter: Further Definitions   Label: Impulse A-12   12" LP 1961
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Pete Turner
 
 

 Max Roach: It´s Time   Label: Impulse A-16   12" LP 1962
 Design: Robert Flynn   Painting: Prophet (Richard Jannings)
 
 

 John Coltrane: Coltrane   Label: Impulse A-21   12" LP 1962
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Pete Turner
 
 

 Roy Haynes: Out of the Afternoon   Label: Impulse A-23   12" LP 1962
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Burt Goldblatt
 
 

 Duke Ellington and John Coltrane   Label: Impulse A-30   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Bob Ghiraldini
 
 

 John Coltrane: Ballads   Label: Impulse A-32   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Jim Marshall
 
 

 The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady   Label: Impulse A-35   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Bob Ghiraldini
 
 

 Freddie Hubbard: The Body & Soul   Label: Impulse A-38   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Ted Russell
 
 

 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman   Label: Impulse A-40   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Joe Alper
 
 

 John Coltrane: Impressions   Label: Impulse A-42   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Joe Alper
 
 

 McCoy Tyner Live at Newport   Label: Impulse A-48   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Jim Marshall
 
 

 Coltrane live at Birdland   Label: Impulse A-50   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Joe Alper
 
 

 S. Stitt - P. Gonsalves: Salt and Pepper   Label: Impulse A-52   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Ted Russell
 
 

 Charles Mingus: Mingus, Mingus...   Label: Impulse A-54   12" LP 1963
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Joe Alper
 
 

 John Coltrane: Crescent   Label: Impulse A-66   12" LP 1964
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Archie Shepp: Four for Trane   Label: Impulse A-71   12" LP 1964
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane: A Love Supreme   Label: Impulse A-77   12" LP 1965
 Design: George Gray   Photo: Bob Thiele
 
 

 John Coltrane Quartet Plays   Label: Impulse A-85   12" LP 1965
 Photo: Lee E. Tanner
 
 

 Coleman Hawkins: Wrapped Tight   Label: Impulse A-87   12" LP 1965
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Various Artists: The New Wave in Jazz   Label: Impulse A-90   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Sonny Rollins on Impulse!   Label: Impulse A-91   12" LP 1965
 Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane/Archie Shepp: New Thing at Newport   Label: Impulse A-94   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane: Ascension   Label: Impulse A-95   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Archie Shepp: On This Night   Label: Impulse A-97   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Leroy McLucas
 
 

 Chico Hamilton: El Chico   Label: Impulse A-9102   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane: Kulu Se Mama   Label: Impulse A-9106   12" LP 1966
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 John Coltrane: Expression   Label: Impulse A-9120   12" LP 1967
 Design: Robert Flynn   Painting: Victor Kalin
 
 

 John Coltrane: Village Vanguard Again   Label: Impulse A-9124   12" LP 1967
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid   Label: Impulse A-9138   12" LP 1967
 Design: Robert Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Archie Shepp: The Magic of Ju-Ju   Label: Impulse A-9154   12" LP 1967
 Painting: Alan Winston   Photo: William A. Levy
 
 

 Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village   Label: Impulse A-9155   12" LP 1967
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Elvin Jones - Richard Davis: Heavy Sounds   Label: Impulse A-9160   12" LP 1968
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Three For A Quarter One For A Dime   Label: Impulse A-9162   12" LP 1968
 Design: Byron Goto / Henry Epstein   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Tom Scott: The Honeysuckle Breeze   Label: Impulse A-9163   12" LP 1968
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn   Photo: Irv Glaser
 
 

 Albert Ayler: Love Cry   Label: Impulse A-9165   12" LP 1968
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Archie Shepp: The Way Ahead   Label: Impulse A-9170   12" LP 1968
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn
 
 

 Albert Ayler: New Grass   Label: Impulse A-9175   12" LP 1968
 Design: Byron Goto / Henry Epstein   Photo: Elliot Landy
 
 

 Pharoah Sanders: Karma   Label: Impulse A-9181   12" LP 1969
 Design: Robert and Barbara Flynn   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Music is the Healing Force of the Universe   Label: Impulse A-9191   12" LP 1969
 Design: George Whiteman   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Archie Shepp: Attica Blues   Label: Impulse A-9222   12" LP 1972
 Design: Clyde Gilliam   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 
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