Whilst not unusual for a record to have a single driving force at its core – someone whose personal concept and vision for the music is translated into the albums they record – is perhaps one of the most impressive examples.
Named after its founder, record producer , bossa nova and more crossover, commercial styles., the lived through various partnerships and iterations whilst managing to pick out hit after hit in the world of
Don’t forget to stay tuned until the end, where we’ve listed out 10 of the best CTI Records releases in jazz history, along with videos!
in the 1950s. was born in 1929 in Virginia and got his start in the music business working as a producer with labels including Bethlehem Records, ABC-Paramount (as well as their subsidiary Impulse!) and
With over a decade of hits under his belt, it was perhaps inevitable that he would decide to take one step further into the industry with his own record .
The Beginning of
In 1967, the producer founded (otherwise known as ) as a subsidiary of A&M.
The resulting 1967 A Day in the Life was a big success and set the on the path to success.
(of ) also engineered most of the sessions, maintaining a high level of recording quality. fame opted to use the legendary Studio (in New Jersey) for the majority of the recording sessions under the .
CTI Goes Indie
With some commercially viable releases under his belt, Taylor took CTI independent in 1970/71, bringing in arranger (and trombonist) for many records, as well as musicians and David Matthews to achieve a cohesive sound.
The financial limitations that becoming independent brought also bred success, with guitarist ‘s 1971 “Beyond the Blue Horizon” a prime example.
said that whilst making the , Taylor “didn’t have no money to put any sweetening on it, no strings or anything like that. [So] I thought, I’ll just get some great cats, pick some great tunes, and play some great guitar.”
The resulting record was a standout one in the guitarist’s discography.
Just two years later in 1973, the had another best-seller with ’s “Prelude” which peaked at number three on the US Billboard albums chart.
The CTI Sound & Style
is arguably most notable for the ‘touch’ in terms of production. Not only was it an integral part of the sound, it also paved the way for establishing as a mass-market style.
Sound aside, every also sported standout cover designs which were usually photographed by , again adding to the ‘brand’ of the .
One style for which the became synonymous was the smoother ‘soul’ style of in the 1970s, which saw them record with artists such as Grant Green, , Dr. and .
Troubles at CTI
In 1974, switched to Motown Records for distribution, which ended in 1974 with legal and financial difficulties that led to the filing for bankruptcy.
However, didn’t let die.
In 1989, he restructured the and resumed working with and to record the all-star session for “Rhythmstick“, an that was released on multiple formats in 1990.
The newly revamped signed many young musicians of the day, including Charles Fambrough, Jim Beard, and guitarist Larry Coryell; the latter collaborating with CTI arranger on the best-selling Fallen Angel )
Montreux 2009. Festival made its last in 2010 when it released a live recording of the CTI All-Star Band at the
CTI albums and Musicians
had a large and impressive roster over its lifetime, but here are ten standout releases from
1. A Day in the Life – (1967)
2. Red Clay – (1970)
3. Don’t Mess With Mr T. – Stanley Turrentine (1973)
4. Prelude – (1973)
5. She Was Too Good To Me – (1974)
6. Pure Desmond – (1974)
7. Mister Magic – George Washington Junior (1975)
9 What a Difference a Day Makes – (1975)
9. BJ4 – (1977)
10. Blues Farm – (1979)
Harry Sprinks is a gigging musician and writer from the Isle of Wight (UK) who recently graduated with a first-class degree in Commercial Music. He has been playing guitar and singing in various projects for the last five years, taking inspiration mainly from rock and blues greats including BB King, Marc Ribot and Mark Knopfler.