George Avakian(4)


Columbia Records introduced the LP in the spring of 1948.

He helped to establish the long playing record.

He planned the first 100 10-inch pop LPs released in the wake of the microgroove introduction.

In 1951, Avakian expanded these albums to the LP format to create the famous four-volume Louis Armstrong Story and other LPs.


In addition his greatest achievement in Columbia Records was the agreement with Miles Davis.

When he heard Miles at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955,he was convinced that his

ballad playing would appeal to the public on a very large scale.

He was Speaking about Miles Davis.

I quoted from JazzWax [March 17, 2010] ” I viewed him as a much bigger figure, a pop-jazz star, if you will. But there was a problem. A few years earlier, when he was hung up on junk, I was astounded to find that he had worked live in front of the public only four to five weeks out of the year. No one wanted to hire him. He was too irresponsible and his habit was ruining him. He’d cancel out at the last minute, so club owners saw him as absolute poison.”

There was a famous story about the contract with Miles Davis.


Miles Davis was under contract to Bob Weinstock at Prestige Records.

At that Time Miles must record four Prestige albums.

Bob Weinstock knew that Miles was going to sign with Columbia Records.


The quintet’s first Columbia session was October 1955.

When Columbia’s first album came out,Prestige could release each one of four albums next every year.

Miles Davis recorded four albums for Prestige in just two sessions.

May 11, 1956 (14 tracks) and October 26, 1956 (12 tracks)


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