Silkheart Records presents exciting
new American jazz on compact disc
in excellent sound.
During the late fifties and early sixties public reaction was
hostile towards challenging improvisers such as Cecil Taylor,
Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. There
was a good deal of antipathy during the 1960s towards the efforts
of artists represented on the avant-garde ESP label. In hindsight
its clear that this kind of initial hostility was quite
misguided. A decade after the onset of these extreme views,
both Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane had gained widespread popular
acceptance, and so too had Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy.
The ESP artists did not achieve quite the same measure of success,
but ten years later they had by and large become quite well
thought of. With the arrival of the 1980s, new jazz had become
short of new blood and, aside from hardy circles of old-timers,
desperately lacking in genuine excitement. It was during this
period that Lars-Olof Gustavsson and Keith Knox were introduced
to each other by the late Charles Tyler, and discussed the burning
question of what is of importance in music. They proceeded to
formulate their policy for what became Silkheart Records.
An initial vector of this policy put the spotlight on certain
important but little known musicians who were active in the
1960s and sparsely recorded, such as Charles Brackeen, Ahmed
Abdullah and Hal Russell.
A second vector of Silkheart policy was concern that titans
of the contemporary music scene such as Charles Gayle, Matthew
Shipp, Booker T, et al had not been recorded at all, and a wish
to remedy this.
A third vector of Silkheart policy recognized the existence
and vitality of groups like Other Dimensions in Music, the Ethnic
Heritage Ensemble and New Horizons Ensemble, all of which were
atrociously under represented on disc and little known.
Our musical policy puts Silkheart Records out on a limb.
Silkheart is dedicated to recording the sublime heights
of creativity in improvised music. Our continuing policy
is to maintain a focus on evolving changes in vernacular
improvised music, on the look-out for musicians with that
ultimate sparkle. Because the touchstone of jazz music
has always been diversity, our ears are attuned to trends,
styles and creative influences as they arise. Listen with
Silkheart as new strategies and creative alternatives
unfold, seeding the music and helping it develop fruitfully.
In pride of place at the center of Silkheart's activities
are the record buying public, together with the musicians
who played on the sessions.
It is our policy to strive for the truest possible representation
of the good feelings germane to a total experience of
music. We try to communicate the ambience of expectancy
and the fine humor of creative intensity in the club or
studio where the session took place. To do justice to
this creative musical atmosphere, Silkheart Records seek
out the best possible professional services for state-of-the-art
compact disc productions.
We locate the proper studio for a project and employ a
top-flight, sympathetic engineer to capture every nuance
of the music, and we take care with the post production
and manufacturing. The artists are invited to have their
say in editing the sound, writing biographies and, occasionally,
proposing a front cover. This interaction we regard as
Both Lars-Olof Gustavsson and Keith Knox are unconventional
in approach and neither of them draws a salary from the
company. Silkheart holds to
a philosophy that change is a lifestyle and that effort
and experiment are
a necessary part of a life in music. Creative jazz music
faces worse conditions today than ever before and a hardening
market for improvised music tends to make the musicians
nervous of change. Flying in the face of circumstances
like these, Silkheart Records has been deliberately providing
a channel for exposing highly creative expression in new
Silkheart commenced operations in 1985 and has released
numerous legendary recordings. These documented comebacks
for David S. Ware and Alvin Fielder, and debuts by Charles
Gayle, Matthew Shipp, Rob Brown, Booker T. Williams, Daniel
Carter, Jim Hobbs and Dennis Charles, as well as significant
releases by Steve Lacy, the Ernest Dawkins New Horizons
Ensemble, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Roy Campbell,
Charles Tyler, Michael Bisio, Other Dimensions in Music,
Assif Tsahar, Roscoe Mitchell, Billy Bang, Dennis Gonzalez,
Kidd Jordan, Guerino Mazzola and various Joel