Riverside Records Tribute

Riverside was launched in 1953 in New York on a shoestring budget by traditional-jazz enthusiasts Bill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews as a platform to reissue jazz and blues recordings from the 1920s by King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others. Over the next decade, the label evolved into one of the premier purveyors of modern jazz. With Keepnews producing the sessions (and often writing the liner notes), Riverside brought jazz giants like Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, and Wes Montgomery to the forefront of American music. Despite successes with these and other jazz and blues artists — including Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Art Blakey, Mongo Santamaria, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Heath, Charlie Byrd, and the Staple Singers — Riverside folded in 1964, a year after Grauer’s death. The catalog was acquired by Fantasy in 1972, and Fantasy was in turn acquired by Concord Music Group in late 2004.

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