Monthly Archives: July 2016

Don Schlitten (5)


Don Schlitten produced superb live recording in Tokyo in April 1976.

Please refer to website.GO here

Why did he had produced live recording in Japan?

I guess that Japanese jazz fan much prefered bebop standard to jazz fusion in those days.

About Xanadu label I recommend the following radio program.GO here

Finally, please refer to the interview video of Don Schlitten.GO here



Don Schlitten (4)


Don Schlitten founded Xanadu Records in 1975.

Xanadu recorded more than 100 releases.

The label’s “Gold Series” focused on reissuing classic bebop works that included historic performances.

Don Schlitten purchased the recording of minor labels and individual recordings.

He was newly reissued many historic performances such as Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, Roy Eldridge, Jack Teagarden, Art Tatum and many more.


The label’s “Silver Series” focused on new recordings by such as Barry Harris, Al Cohn, Jimmy Raney, Dolo Coker, Charles McPherson and others.

Last year Elemental Music has begun to reissue more than two dozen of the  Silver Series as ‘Xanadu Master Edition Series’. GO here


Left to Right: Zev Feldman, Don Schlitten, Jordi Soley

Here is ” Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron”
Recorded:June 4, 1975 


Don Schlitten(3)

Today I post about Cobblestone label and Muse Records.

Both labels were founded in New York City by Joe Fields in 1972.

Joe Fields worked as an executive for Prestige Records in the 1960s.

Joe Fields set up the Cobblestone label with the help of Don Schlitten.


Don Schlitten produced a couple of Sonny Stitt’s finest sessions, ‘Tune Up’ and’ Constellation’.

In addition he produced six live records at the 1972 Newport Jazz Festival.Go here


Never Again, James Moody, 1972, Muse 5001

Also Muse Records released over 500 LPs between the founding of the company.Go here

In 1978 Fields and Don Schlitten ended their professional relationship.

Because Don Schlitten founded the Xanadu label.

Here is my favorite piece ‘Just Friends’




Don Schlitten(2)


Today, I will post about his achievements in Prestige Records.

By the mid-1950s, Prestige Records became a leading independent jazz label.

So Prestige founder Bob Weinstock set about recruiting an impressive group of young producers.

He employed several superb producers in addition to Weinstock: among them, Chris Albertson,

Ozzie Cadena, Esmond Edwards, Ira Gitler, Cal Lampley, Bob Porter, and Don Schlitten.


Photo above of Ira Gitler

There is a famous story about his  work in Prestige label.

He produced Tony Fruscella’s recording in 1952.

Unfortunately this work was not released.

This precious recordings wound up on a shelf in Bob’s office where many years later.

But Don found unissued recordings dust on a neglected shelf.

Then he eventually issued them in 1981 for his own Xanadu label.

I want post about  Tony Fruscella’s recording at later date.

Also Don Schlitten had a talent for photography and visual art and created many of the labels cover designs.

He had done some design work that appeared on 10-inch and EP discs in the early 1950s.

Please refer to “Prestige Records,” The Birka Jazz Archive.

Here is Tony Fruscella Septet.

Tony Fruscella (tp), Herb Geller (as), Phil Urso (ts), Gene Allen (bs),Bill Triglia (p), Red Mitchell (b), Howie Mann (ds)       Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, February 16, 1952


Don Schlitten(1)


Photo above of Don Schlitten

Recently I read an interesting article about xanadu records.(here) and (here)

This week I want to post about Don Schlitten who was a founder Xanadu Records.

Don Schlitten was born March 4, 1932.

Signal Records was founded in New York in 1955 by Don Schlitten and Ira Gitler and among others.

It developed a reputation for well prepared recordings, perfectly engineered and with quality album designs and liners.

Duke Jordan, Gigi Gryce, Red Rodney, and others were recorded on Signal label.

But Signal label was short-lived.

The label was acquired by Savoy Records.

Then Don Schlitten went to other labels.

Don Schlitten produced remarkable achievements as a producer for Prestige, Cobblestone, Muse Records.

In 1975 Don Schlitten founded Xanadu Records.

Please refer to the Signal Label Discography. (here)

Here is Hall Overton Quartet featuring Phil Woods – You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To

Here is Duke Jordan Quintet – Flight to Jordan

Paul Chambers(4)

In 1956 and 1957 Paul Chambers participated in nearly 100 recordings, including such as Thelonious Monk’s Brilliant Corners, the Sonny Rollins Quartet’s Tenor Madness.

Clark Terry (trumpet) Sonny Rollins (tenor sax) Thelonious Monk (piano) Paul Chambers (bass) Max Roach (drums) December 7, 1956

Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane (tenor sax), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums) May 24, 1956

In November 1956, he recorded first album ‘Chambers’ Music’ on the Jazz West label.

His first leader work was recorded in two hours for Jazz West, a small Los Angeles label.


Also Curtis Fuller played his debut recording on this session.

Three months later, he recorded secnd album ‘Whims Of Chambers’ on Blue Note label.

Vee Jay label LP ‘1st Bassman’ was his final work as a leader.

This record was recorded May 12, 1960.

He never overstepped his boundaries and he could be a very subtle player.

But he had been addictions to both alcohol and heroin.

Unfortunately he died at age 33,January 4, 1969.



Paul Chambers(3)


Also today I want to post about Miles’ anger against Paul Chambers.

Paul Chambers was a heavy drinker and could not stay away from women.

According to Davis’ autobiography,

Anyway, on this trip to Rochester, Paul is drinking zombies. I ask him, “Why do you drink shit like that? Why you drink so much, Paul?”
And he says, “Aw, man, I can drink all I want. I can drink ten of these and it wouldn’t bother me.”
“Drink ’em and I’ll pay for them,” I told him. And he said, “Okay.”[…]

The only downer for me, really, during this entire first trip was that Paul Chambers was staying with Bird’s ex-wife, Doris Sydnor, in her hotel room at the Sutherland Hotel. […]       So he kept her to himself while we were there. I think he was a little disappointed that I didn’t like Doris, though. He probably figured she was a catch, a feather in his cap, being Bird’s former old lady.

Nevertheless Miles had to trust about Paul’s performance.

Fortunately he became a legend by two recordings during March 2 to May 5 in 1959.

The first was ‘Kind Of Blue.’

Chambers played the six-tone keynote on “So What.”

The second was Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps.’

Coltrane paid specific tribute to his bassist on “Mr. P.C.”