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This exhibition space is part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Return to the Festival site

A memory from LondonJazzCollector

The 50's/60s US giant jazz label Prestige (Coltrane! Rollins!) distributed its recordings in Europe through licensing agreements with local record labels. France (Barclay) Holland (Artone) Italy (Music Depositato) Sweden (Metronome) and in the UK, the Esquire label. British record collectors of American jazz were delighted to add Esquires to their collections at a fraction of the cost of US Prestige originals. All the more delighted because the audio quality of these iconic Prestige recordings was perfectly preserved through an unusual system of recording distribution - instead of conventionally sending copy tape, Prestige sent original metal parts directly from the masters of legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder. We jazz-lovers quickly forgave the "quirky" British covers (to be honest, we lusted for authentic American artefact) but, all was forgiven after mounting the heavy mono vinyl on our turntables, with the swing and exhilarating authentic sound of modern jazz, as it was meant to be heard.


The Esquire Cover Club presents in partnership with

EFG London Jazz Festival partners