Cadillac’s Joy reissue gets Presto award

    The 1976 album Joy, featuring Jim Dvorak and Ernest Mothle, has been recognised as Jazz Best Archive/Reissue Of The Year

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    Presto's Barney Whittaker (left) with Matthew Wright. Photo by Vereena Jones

    Music retailer Presto Music held its annual awards presentation at its flagship store in Leamington Spa on Thursday 7 December. Internationally renowned for classical recordings, books, sheet music and instruments, the organisation gave its award for Jazz Best Archive/Reissue Of The Year to Cadillac Music’s Joy (SGCCD020).

    Originally released in 1976, the album featured up-and-coming musicians Jim Dvorak (t), Chris Francis (as), Frank Roberts (p), Ernest Mothle (b) and Keith Bailey (d). The reissue includes extra, previously unissued tracks.

    The award coincides with the 50th anniversary of the label, which was founded in 1973 by John Jack and Mike Westbrook, and to celebrate this the very first release has been reissued: Mike Westbrook Live 1972 (SGCCD001), with George Khan (ts), Alan Jackson (d), Butch Potter (b), Gary Boyle (g) and Westbrook (p).

    Cadillac was situated in the basement of Ray’s Jazz Shop (formerly Collets) in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue, and a strong and lasting connection developed between Cadillac and the shop, where I worked at the time. Over the years the label became highly regarded, establishing a reputation for supporting new musicians and more established figures, as well as releasing archive material.

    When John died in 2017, Mike Gavin took over and in the past few years has released albums by a wide range of artists including Joe Harriott, Albert Nicholas, Johnny Dyani, Harry Beckett, Tori Freestone, Evan Parker, The Mike Westbrook Concert Band and The Jazz Doctors (Billy Bang), as well as the compilation Fresh From Finland. Mike has even gone into book publishing, with the appearance of Jazz & Cricket – An Unlikely Combination, which Cricketer magazine described as “one of the year’s most unexpected joys” in its books of the year feature in 2021.

    Unfortunately Mike couldn’t make the awards ceremony, so because of my links to the label, asked me to represent him and accept the award on behalf of Cadillac and all who’ve been associated with the label over the years – Hazel Miller, David Ilic, Mike Westbrook, Ray’s Jazz Shop and of course, the late John Jack.