Impulse! Records Celebrates 60 Years With Year-Long Campaign

Impulse! Records, founded in 1960 by Creed Taylor and home to some of the greatest jazz artists of all time including John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Quincy Jones, among many others, this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The orange-and-black imprint known as the “House That Trane Built” was a cultural beacon of progressivism, spiritualism, and activism throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Today, the label thrives with a new vanguard of jazz artists including Shabaka Hutchings, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, Brandee Younger, Ted Poor and others.

Jamie Krents, EVP of Verve and Impulse! says, “Impulse! Records has an important and enduring legacy that we are proud to celebrate during this anniversary year. We are thrilled to unveil new music, visual content, merchandise, partnerships and more. The famous orange label has been the musical home to progressive artists that pushed the boundaries of music, thought, and culture. Impulse! continues this legacy with a commitment to our history, and our future with artists like Shabaka and Brandee, who both carry the torch and blaze new trails. We are proud to share the story of this remarkable label with the world in this, its 60th year.”

“Over the last 60 years, Impulse! Records has released some of the most important and influential jazz albums of all time and UMe remains honored to continue to help expand the legacy of this exceptional catalog,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO of UMe. “We’re thrilled to celebrate six decades of this iconic and truly American label by shining a light all year long on the profound way that Impulse! and its many incredible artists have forever impacted music and culture.”

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Impulse! Records and Universal Music Group’s global catalog company UMe, just announced a year-long campaign that includes a gorgeous, curated box set, a reimagined Alice Coltrane rarity, Turiya Sings, high-fidelity vinyl reissues, curated playlists, brand partnerships, new deep-dive video content and more to be announced throughout 2021.

The 4 LP Box Set Impulse Records: Music, Message & The Moment (May 2021) can be pre-ordered now here. It’s a 4-LP museum drop-front box set that tells the story of the political, social and spiritual facets of the artists and music of Impulse! Records. Impulse! was at its prolific height throughout the 1960s, a decade marked by political protest, racial unrest, social revolution, dismantling institutions – not unlike our current times. Jazz was an integral part of exploring Black identity and pushing cultural and political boundaries and conversations, as outlined in the box set essays by poet and critic A.B. Spellman and critic Greg Tate, both of whom offer vital perspective on the importance of this label, the artists and music that flowed through it, and the cultural backdrop.

You can watch an “unboxing” video here:

Also coming this year:

• Remixed, Reimagined Rarity from Alice Coltrane Turiya Sings (Never Before Released) Digitally or on LP, CD (Summer 2021)

• New Video Series Deep-Dive – Watch Pilot Episode About John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme: •

And of course the continuing Impulse! Records Acoustic Sounds Series, which next releases Ray Charles’s Genius+Soul=Jazz and of course Gil Evan’s “must have” Out of the Cool.

• Thelonious Monk Palo Alto – Custodian’s Mix Record Store Day exclusive (June 2021)

• New 2021 Frontline Releases from Sons of Kemet, Brandee Younger, Pino Palladino/Blake Mills

• Impulse! Records website and webstore Relaunching including limited edition merch+ Fixed Playlists Launch Impulse! 60: The Best of Impulse! Records, On Impulse: John Coltrane, On Impulse: Charles Mingus, On Impulse: Sonny Rollins and many more coming soon.

• Partnership with Jazz Is Dead including a bespoke t-shirt, poster, and collaborative content.

And watch for future announcements.

carmined's picture

i wonder if all the reissues coming out for the 60th anniversary are going to be AAA? lots of speculation some are bein repressed from the vital series which was digital.

curious the source of the boxset as well.

carmined's picture

i wonder where the reissues are being sourced from? rumors going around some are digitally sourced from the vital series back in 2029.

also curious to know where the box set was sourced? digital i would assume.

AnalogJ's picture

If you look at the set list, it isn't a collection of four prime individual albums, but a sort of 'best-of'. It is a compilation of cuts from many different albums and artists. So it's likely either it was assembled from 2nd generation tapes that were made from whatever source they used, or this was compiled digitally. Either way, it's doubtful that they would have cut up each individual album's master tapes in order to do this set.

Glotz's picture

And to gaze upon your big sexy stack of Impulse records?


Michael Fremer's picture
The Coltrane Impulse originals....
Roy Martin's picture

Battered covers, pristine vinyl!

Ivan Lietaert's picture

Just wondering, Michael. Is there a specific reason why you don't store your LPs in a protective plastic sleeve?

lilrecords's picture

seen a lot of jazz re-issues this year, lots of them being audiophile releases. at least it looks like I'll be able to get my hands on this :)

Roy Martin's picture

Strangely, one of Impulses! best releases for my money isn't jazz at all. It is the above-captioned album by John Lee Hooker.

Ivan Lietaert's picture

CD 1

The John Coltrane Quartet — Africa
Max Roach — Garvey's Ghost
Quincy Jones and his Orchestra — Hard Sock Dance
John Coltrane — Up 'Gainst the Wall
Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet — Just Us Blues
John Coltrane — Alabama
Charles Mingus — Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul
Shirley Scott Trio — Freedom Dance
Yusef Lateef — Sister Mamie
Archie Shepp — Malcolm, Malcolm—Semper Malcolm
Stanley Turrentine — Good Lookin' Out
Earl Hines — Black and Tan Fantasy
Oliver Nelson — The Rights of All
CD 2

Pharoah Sanders — The Creator Has a Master Plan (edit)
John Coltrane & Alice Coltrane — Reverend King
The Ahmad Jamal Trio — The Awakening
Albert Ayler — Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe
Charlie Haden — We Shall Overcome
Alice Coltrane — Blue Nile
Pharoah Sanders — Astral Traveling
Archie Shepp — Blues for Brother George Jackson
Michael White — Lament (Mankind)
Dewey Redman — Imani
Marion Brown — Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim
John Handy — Hard Work

bkinthebk's picture

It was my understanding that most (or many) of the original master tapes in the Impulse! catalog burned in the Universal fire. Is this accurate as far as is known? Apparently some were spared (e.g. Out of the Cool - Gil Evans), but the majority of original analog masters from the label were victims of the fire. I would be very happy to be wrong.