Black Jazz Records was introduced to the public in the early 70’s by internationally renowned jazz pianist gene russell . Mr. Russell recognized the need for a jazz music record label which would produce and distribute quality recordings targeted toward the growing market of African centric awareness. In it's heyday, Black Jazz Records represented a new and fresh alternative to traditional jazz, embodying the spirit of the black/urban awakening of the civil rights period. During it's six year existence, the record label made a major impact on the jazz world, both domestically and in foreign territories.
The Black Jazz roster consisted of ten superior instrumentalists and vocalists that included:
Gene Russell - Piano
Rudolph Johnson - Saxophone
Calvin Keys - Guitar
Walter Bishop, Jr. - Piano
Chester Thompson - Organ
Henry Franklin - Bass
Doug Carn - Piano, Organ, Keyboards
Jean Carn - Vocalist
Kellee Paterson - Vocalist
The Awakening - Instrumental Group
These artists were supported by a cast of some of America’s most respected jazz musicians. It's most successful act, doug carn recorded three albums embodying several of the most spectacular vocal performances of the era. Doug Carn sold more records than Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis (According to 1974 Billboard Magazine). However, due the fact that Doug’s demo (Infant Eyes) was turned down by the major labels, a great number of jazz fans and music lovers were unaware of his accomplishments. Be that as it may, those on the inside of the black awareness scene admired and thrived on his style and conception. Jean Carn would go on to become an award winning R&B recording artist with the legendary Philadelphia International Records label. In 1976, after the untimely death of it's founder and after the demise of it's distributor, Black Jazz Records ceased operations. However, it left behind a proven catalogue of inspirational jazz music which had never been made publicly available on the digital technology of the compact disc until Mr Mr James Hardge the new owner since 1986 and President reissued the full catalogue recently.
We would like to thank Mr James Hardge, President of Black Jazz Records who allows us to take some information from the official website and also for his great job reactivating the label.