For the 10th installment of our “Talkin’ All that Jazz” series, we pay tribute to the short-lived record label, Black Jazz.
Founded in the early 70s in Oakland, California by pianist Gene Russell, the label was an alternative to traditional jazz music, invoking a more political and spiritual tone with funk overtones. The roster boasted numerous talented instrumentalists and vocalists, including Rudolph Johnson (saxophone), Calvin Keys (piano), Walter Bishop, Jr. (piano), Chester Thompson (organ), Henry Franklin (bass), Kellee Paterson (vocals) and the aforementioned Russell.
While the label’s run was very short (closing after Russell’s death in ’76), it has since been reincarnated. A slew of reissues have been released (thanks to the good people at Snow Dog Records), and DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Muro and Mitsu have paid tribute to the label through specialized mixes.
Enjoy the next 2-hours of incredible jazz music, courtesy of the Black Jazz roster.