Ace Records’ Boplicity label was one of the earliest entries into the jazz reissues market in the mid-1980s. The short release schedule covered classic modern jazz from the 50s and 60s, taking in music originally released by Blue Note, Riverside, Prestige and various smaller independents. We are now re-launching the label as home for our small but distinct catalogue of 1950s and 1960s modern jazz. Featuring bonus tracks wherever possible, each release will strive for the highest quality in sound reproduction, using fresh transfers of the original master tapes.
Our first batch of releases comprises albums recorded by Dexter Gordon, Carl Perkins, Curtis Counce and Buddy Collette for Dootsie William’s Dootone label. A fixture of the Los Angeles scene since the early 1930s, Williams set up his label in the late 40s to take advantage of the nascent vocal group scene. Dootone scored a big hit in 1954 with ‘Earth Angel’ by the Penguins, which allowed him to indulge his passion for jazz.
Buddy Collette, who with Dexter Gordon was one of the figureheads of West Coast bebop, was equally influential in his struggles against racism. He was the first black musician to play in a studio band, and in the 1950s was instrumental in desegregating the Los Angeles locals of the American Federation of Musicians. In 1955 he was a founder member of the Chico Hamilton group, a mixed-race outfit which fell into the “cool school” that typified the West Coast scene. Collette’s reed playing was a key factor in the sound of the group, leading to offers for him to record under his own name. His Dootone album, “Buddy’s Best”, is the least well-known of these sessions. Collette’s reputation may have suffered due to his unwillingness to tour, but his records work as the perfect riposte.
By Dean Rudland