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Prestige Records Story

The Prestige Records Story

Like most of the now-prized jazz labels, Prestige Records sprang from the vision of one man -- a 20-year-old kid, actually -- named Bob Weinstock, who guided the label from its infancy in 1949 until 1971 when he sold out to Fantasy. Although Prestige continued to record for awhile after 1971, Fantasy chose to survey only the Weinstock years in this beautifully


Like most of the now-prized jazz labels, Prestige Records sprang from the vision of one man -- a 20-year-old kid, actually -- named Bob Weinstock, who guided the label from its infancy in 1949 until 1971 when he sold out to Fantasy. Although Prestige continued to record for awhile after 1971, Fantasy chose to survey only the Weinstock years in this beautifully put-together four-CD boxed set. Though the tracks are arranged in chronological order, the box neatly divides itself into two stylistic halves. The first two discs contain mostly bebop and hard bop sides from Prestige's first ten years, and you can't help but be dazzled by the number of strong records that this label put out -- with six from Miles Davis alone and plenty of playing time for Sonny Rollins, James Moody, Milt Jackson, and early John Coltrane. Here, some clever sequencing illuminates the period, where Moody's "Moody's Mood for Love" is followed by King Pleasure's vocalese version, and further down the line, we hear Wardell Gray's original "Twisted" and Annie Ross' self-psychoanalysis on the same tune. The last two discs mostly explore an area that at last is starting to receive respect -- Prestige's imposing soul-jazz legacy, where organists like Richard "Groove" Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff, and Charles Earland laid down the groove, and His Majesty Gene Ammons was the reigning soul tenor sax king when he wasn't serving time for drug busts. These sides really cook, and they make you feel good and jiggly all over, evoking their place and time as completely as Johann Strauss' waltzes do for 19th century Vienna. The booklet is an especially refreshing departure from the usual critical routine because it offers a round-robin assortment of voices (including the long-retired Weinstock himself) who offer rarely explored insight into the commercial aspects of the jazz record business -- anecdotes about how records get hot, and how they get airplay and distribution. While there is nothing particularly rare on this set -- only three tracks are new to CD and no outtakes crop up (which figured since many Prestige records were one-take blowing sessions) -- even veteran collectors will appreciate such a concentration of classic stuff in one box.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ray Barretto   Conga
Mose Allison   Piano,Vocals,Track Performer
Gene Ammons   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Billy Bauer   Guitar
George Benson   Track Performer
Clifford Brown   Trumpet
Rusty Bryant   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Milt Buckner   Piano
Jimmy Cleveland   Trombone
Arnett Cobb   Track Performer
Sonny Criss   Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
King Curtis   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Tadd Dameron   Track Performer
Miles Davis   Trumpet,Track Performer
Eric Dolphy   Alto Saxophone
Allen Eager   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer,Soloist
Charles Earland   Organ,Track Performer
Tommy Flanagan   Piano
Jimmy Forrest   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
George Freeman   Guitar
Red Garland   Piano,Track Performer
Stan Getz   Track Performer
Dexter Gordon   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Wardell Gray   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Haig   Piano
Red Holloway   Tenor Saxophone
Milt Jackson   Vibes,Track Performer
Illinois Jacquet   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Eddie Jefferson   Vocals
Bill Jennings   Guitar
Etta Jones   Vocals,Track Performer
Hank Jones   Piano
Rahsaan Roland Kirk   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer,Manzello,Siren
Lee Konitz   Track Performer
Steve Lacy   Soprano Saxophone
Shelly Manne   Drums
Pat Martino   Guitar
Red Mitchell   Bass
Modern Jazz Quartet   Track Performer
James Moody   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Brew Moore   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer,Soloist
Oliver Nelson   Track Performer
Joe Newman   Trumpet
Cecil Payne   Baritone Saxophone
Houston Person   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Bucky Pizzarelli   spanish guitar
King Pleasure   Track Performer
Bud Powell   Piano
Jimmy Raney   Guitar,Track Performer
Jerome Richardson   Flute
Max Roach   Drums
Sonny Rollins   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Annie Ross   Vocals,Track Performer
Shirley Scott   Organ,Track Performer
Horace Silver   Piano
Sonny Stitt   Track Performer
Buddy Tate   Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
Lennie Tristano   Piano,Track Performer
Stanley Turrentine   Tenor Saxophone
Doug Watkins   Bass
Dave Burns   Trumpet
Leonard Gaskin   Bass
Oliver Jackson   Drums
Jimmy Lewis   Fender Jazz Bass
Richard Wyands   Piano
Sonny Phillips   Organ
Tommy Potter   Bass
Thore Swanerud   Piano
Joe Dukes   Drums
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Montego Joe   Conga
Melvin Sparks   Guitar
Gene Ramey   Bass
Percy Heath   Bass
Ronnie Boykins   Bass
Skeeter Best   Guitar
Alan Dawson   Drums
Willie Ruff   French Horn
George Duvivier   Bass
Boogaloo Joe Jones   Track Performer
Ray Abrams   Tenor Saxophone
Cohn   Track Performer
Joe Benjamin   Bass
Walter Bishop   Piano
Art Blakey   Drums
Anders Burman   Drums
Bob Bushnell   Fender Jazz Bass
Jaki Byard   Piano
Buddy Caldwell   Conga
Gene Casey   Piano
Buck Clarke   Conga
Kenny Clarke   Drums
John Coltrane   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis   Track Performer
Lem Davis   Alto Saxophone
Arthur Edgehill   Drums
Gene Edwards   Guitar
Gil Evans   Piano
Addison Farmer   Bass
Ronnie Free   Drums
Roy Haynes   Drums
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Richard "Groove" Holmes   Track Performer
Idris Muhammad   Drums
Frank Isola   Drums
Willis "Gator" Jackson   Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Osie Johnson   Drums
Clarence Johnston   Drums
Virgil Jones   Trumpet
Dave Kurtzer   Bassoon
Wendell Marshall   Bass
Jackie McLean   Alto Saxophone
Jack McDuff   Organ,Track Performer
Thelonious Monk   Piano,Track Performer
George Morrow   Bass
Louis Mucci   Trumpet
Hall Overton   Piano
Charlie Parker   Tenor Saxophone
Charles Perry   Drums
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie   Drums
Frank Robinson   Trumpet
Curly Russell   Bass
William Shepherd   Trombone
Zoot Sims   Track Performer
John Simmons   Bass
Leon Spencer   Organ
Nick Stabulas   Drums
Bart Varsalona   Bass Trombone
Grover Washington   Tenor Saxophone
Frank Wess   Flute
Buster Williams   Bass
Yusef Ali   Drums
Lucas   Bass
Norman Edge   Bass
Jimmie Smith   Drums
Miles Davis Quintet   Track Performer
Alvin Johnson   Drums
Arnold Fishkind   Bass
Hayes   Bongos
Richie Powell   Piano
Yngve Akerberg   Bass
John Lathan   Bass
Leppe Sundevall   Trumpet
Frankie Jones   Drums
Merrill Stepter   Trumpet
Teddy Lee   Drums
Chon   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Jimmy Boyd   Piano

Technical Credits

Gene Ammons   Composer
George Benson   Composer
Tadd Dameron   Composer
Miles Davis   Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
James Moody   Composer
Gerry Mulligan   Arranger
Sonny Stitt   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Ozzie Cadena   Producer
Tom Dowd   Engineer
Esmond Edwards   Producer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Lew Futterman   Producer
Ira Gitler   Producer
Doug Hawkins   Engineer
Willis "Gator" Jackson   Composer
Bob Lee   Engineer
Peter Paul   Producer
Doug Phillips   Composer
Don Schlitten   Producer
William "Mickey" Stevenson   Composer
Stephen Street   Composer
Pat Upton   Composer
Natalicio Moreira Lima   Composer
W. Marcus   Composer

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