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satkinsn
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Arista Freedom

On the road Saturday in Kingston, Ontario I found this impossibly cluttered used record store.

It was one of those places where the aisles are not quite big enough for one person, let alone two. At one point I had to back out of the store to let other people - a couple of tolerant, but bored wives - in.

Little slice o' heaven, it was.

Anyway, I grabbed a Stephane Grappelli/Roland Hanna/Mel Lewis/George Mraz session from 1973 on the Arista/Freedom label.

As far as I know, most of what's on Arista/Freedom has never been reissued, though obviously the Anthony Braxton was on Mosaic this past year, and CT's 'Silent Tongues' has been available on the Freedom label for years.

First, does anyone know different? Second, does anyone else collect the label?

s.

jazzfan
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Re: Arista Freedom

As far as I know, Arista Freedom was never a "stand alone" label producing unique recordings but rather a re-issue label which issued recordings made originally for other labels under the Arista Freedom name in the USA. Many of the Arista Freedom records have been issued on CD but either on their original label or on yet another re-issue label.

Here's a link to a discography that I found thru Google: Aristra Freedom discography

I'm pretty sure that several of these records have now been issued on CD but I'm also quite sure that none of them will be easy to find.

Oh, and welcome to the forum. I know that the jazz section can seem just a little quiet but things always slow down around here during the summer. hopefully they will pick up again in the cooler weather.

satkinsn
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Re: Arista Freedom

You're right - and I should have noted that some of the label's issues were licensed from other companies.

But they also did original recording - Braxton was chief among them, but I *think* (though don't know) that other albums originated with Arista as well.

s.

jazzfan
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Re: Arista Freedom


Quote:
You're right - and I should have noted that some of the label's issues were licensed from other companies.

But they also did original recording - Braxton was chief among them, but I *think* (though don't know) that other albums originated with Arista as well.

s.

You're half correct: Arista did do a series of very adventurous original recordings in the 1970's, including releases by Anthony Braxton and Air, but these recordings were released on the Arista label, not the Arista/Freedom label.

Just think all these recordings, some of them among the most adventurous recordings ever released by any major American record label, were recorded and released during the time, according to Ken Burns and Wynton Marsalis, when jazz was just about dead. Many of these recordings had lots of life in them when they were first released and still, to this day, sound fresh and alive. The only thing that died was the courage of the major record labels and now their stunning lack of vision has come full circle as they suffer a slow and painful death at the hands of today's computer technology (e.g. downloads and "perfect" copies).

As a fan and lover of the very music that these record execs deemed unworthy I cannot bring myself to shed even a single tear as the major record labels and the music business of the late 20th century sink into oblivion. Good riddence to bad rubbish.

satkinsn
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Re: Arista Freedom

Of course!

Thank for jogging my increasingly faulty memory. Somehow, 30 years on I blended the two projects into each other. Shoulda known; I rebought a fair amount of the Braxton on vinyl over the last few years and have seen the label.

What Air was on Arista/Freedom? I think 'Air Lore' is for the ages, but don't know the remainder of the catalog that well.

And you're absolutely right about the rest; back in the day, I could buy an Anthony Braxton album in my little town, mostly because it had the Arista label on it. I also bought Arthur Blythe's Columbia albums the same way. I'm staggered by how much we've devolved since then.

Anyway, a great decade for jazz, my favorite.

s.

edit - I hope Mosaic (or someone) re-releases the Air albums (if memory serves, 'Lore' was on RCA and they also recorded for Black Saint or Soul Note) and keeps Threadgill's first post-Air album, 'Just The Facts & Pass The Bucket' in print.

mmole
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Re: Arista Freedom

Also on Arista/Novus was "Open Air Suite" and "Suisse Air (Live From Montreux)." As with the Braxtons, these were all commonly available as $1.99 cutouts in the early eighties.

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