RECORD LABELS

SMOKE SESSIONS RECORDS

smoke session records

Contacts

Publicists:
Maureen McFadden

Record Label Contact:
Smoke Sessions Records

ABOUT
SHOWS
NEWS
ARTISTS
ABOUT

After surviving for almost 15 years in the white-knuckle world of running a New York City jazz club, Smoke co-owners Frank Christopher and Paul Stache decided that they were up for yet another daunting challenge, starting a jazz record label. Awed and inspired over the years by the music all around them, it was their dream to document and share it beyond the limited seats of the club. In the spring of 2013, they quit dreaming and instead recruited their friend Damon Smith to help turn the dream into a reality, Smoke Sessions Records.

The label’s initial focus is on the music and musicians associated with the club. Guided by the golden age of independent jazz labels like Blue Note, Prestige, and Riverside, Smoke Sessions’ ambitious plans are to release 10 to 20 new titles annually with 9 scheduled (one per month) through September 2014 and another full slate arriving starting again in January 2015. The first four titles are Harold Mabern‘s Right on Time (available now), Vincent Herring‘s The Uptown Shuffle (available now), Javon Jackson’s Expression (available now) and David Hazeltine‘s For All We Know (available April 8). Also arriving in 2014 are new titles from Louis Hayes, Jimmy Cobb, Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans, and Eric Reed. Initially, the label planned to record live performances at Smoke exclusively, but future titles starting this year will also include studio sessions.

All Smoke Sessions releases are produced using vintage techniques and audio paths – i.e.; Rupert Neve-designed mixing consoles (Amek-Angela), Studer mastering decks, and Manley tube equalization – in combination with modern high definition recording techniques. Label co-founder Stache records the sessions then works closely with GRAMMY® Award-winner Roman Klun to mix and master them. Each releases features original photography by Jimmy Katz, as well as an original 2,000-word artist interview. The limited edition 200-gram audiophile collection was mastered for vinyl by celebrated engineer Kevin Gray and includes a classic “tip-on style” gatefold record jacket. Smoke Sessions titles are available on deluxe compact disc albums and as high resolution digital downloads; a 200gram audiophile vinyl compilation celebrating the first four releases is also available.

SHOWS

Apr
19
Bobby Watson
The Folly Theater
Kansas City, Missouri
Dec
30
Orrin Evans
SOUTH
600 N. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19130
Dec
29
Orrin Evans
SOUTH
600 N. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19130

NEWS

  • AVAILABLE NOW: Vincent Herring – “Hard Times” – Smoke Sessions Records - Saxophonist Vincent Herring Soothes Modern Day Turbulence on Hard Times – Available November 3 on Smoke Sessions Records There’s no avoiding the hard times. Every human being that’s walked this Earth has had his or her share of the blues, from the personal to the political, the local to the global. But with another ominous…
  • AVAILABLE NOW: Johnny O’Neal – “In The Moment” – Smoke Sessions Records - While every great jazz musician knows the value of spontaneity, few understand the true value of being in the moment quite like Johnny O’Neal. A rising star in the early 1980s, O’Neal left New York after a mugging in 1986. Performing and recording in Atlanta, St. Louis, Montreal and his native Detroit, he experienced another…
  • Vincent Herring – “Hard Times” – Available November 3 - There’s no avoiding the hard times. Every human being that’s walked this Earth has had his or her share of the blues, from the personal to the political, the local to the global. But with another ominous headline coming every day, with news alerts constantly erupting from our various devices, with social media facilitating vitriolic…
  • Johnny O’Neal – “In The Moment” – Available October 6 - While every great jazz musician knows the value of spontaneity, few understand the true value of being in the moment quite like Johnny O’Neal. A rising star in the early 1980s, O’Neal left New York after a mugging in 1986. Performing and recording in Atlanta, St. Louis, Montreal and his native Detroit, he experienced another setback…
  • Harold Mabern – “To Love and Be Loved” – Available August 25 - “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn,” Eden Ahbez wrote in “Nature Boy,” his classic song, “is just to love and be loved in return.” That may not be something that pianist Harold Mabern has taught in the classroom during his decades as an influential educator, but it’s certainly a lesson that he’s passed on time and again…
  • Peter Bernstein – “Signs LIVE!” – Available July 28 - A record release party two decades in the making, Signs LIVE! reunites the four master musicians who came together 20 years earlier to record the acclaimed Signs of Life, the second album by guitar-great Peter Bernstein. Recorded live at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the album captures the long-awaited live debut of Bernstein’s once-in-a-lifetime quartet featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride,…
  • Steve Davis – “Think Ahead” – Available May 26 - In life as in jazz, you never know what’s coming around the next corner — so it’s always best to think ahead. Trombonist/composer Steve Davis not only offers those two words as a sound piece of advice on his new album, Think Ahead, but exemplifies the art of putting it into action. Out May 26 from…
  • Bobby Watson – “Made In America” – Available April 21 - While Black History Month provides an annual reminder of the momentous contributions that African-Americans have made to the nation’s history, 28 days out of 365 aren’t nearly enough to compensate for the neglect those “hidden figures” (to borrow the title of a recent hit film) have suffered in classrooms and history books. On his latest…
  • Heads of State – “Four In One” – Available March 17 - The country as a whole may be bitterly divided over the results of the recent presidential election, but jazz fans of any political stripe can rejoice in the return of the music’s own Heads of State. With Four in One, the quartet of living legends – saxophonist Gary Bartz, pianist Larry Willis, drummer Al Foster,…

ARTISTS

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Bobby Watson

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Harold Mabern

heads of state smoke sessions jazz

Heads of State

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Johnny O’Neal

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One For All

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Orrin Evans

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Peter Bernstein

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Steve Davis

the cookers

The Cookers

vincent herring

Vincent Herring

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