Candid Records relaunches with five classics

The label's new owners mark the moment with reissues of five 1961 albums and intend to record 'the greatest artists in jazz today'

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Lightnin' Hopkins

Candid Records, founded in 1960 and home to celebrated recordings by Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln and others, is relaunched this month with the reissue of five well-known 1961 sessions.

Candid, owned for some while by Andy Williams, was acquired in 1989 by Englishman Alan Bates, who released the early albums on CD and added many new artists to the roster in the ensuing decades, including Kenny Barron, Lee Konitz and Dave Liebman. Bates sold the label in 2019 to Exceleration Music, where it is now run by Mark Wexler.

Exceleration have plans to expand the Candid catalogue with new recordings. Exceleration partner John Burk said the label, which has appointed drummer Terri Lyne Carrington as A&R consultant, intends “to honour and build upon the legacy with new recordings from the greatest artists in jazz today, as well as those who represent the future of the genre”.

The five albums to be reissued (online and on CD on 15 April and on vinyl on 24 June) were produced by Candid’s then head of A&R Nat Hentoff, and have been remastered by Bernie Grundman. They are: Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus (1960); Max Roach: We Insist! (1960); Lightnin’ Hopkins: Lightnin’ In New York (1960); Abbey Lincoln: Straight Ahead (1961); Otis Spann: Otis Spann Is The Blues (1960).

Exceleration Music is a company formed by Glen Barros, Amy Dietz, John Burk, Dave Hansen and Charles Caldas to invest in the future of independent labels and artists. The company says it offers “personalized solutions to entrepreneurs seeking capital to achieve growth as well as those trying to achieve liquidity or an honourable exit”. So far Exceleration has “strategic relationships” with SideOneDummy, Alligator Records, Candid Records, Bloodshot Records and the Ray Charles Foundation.