From 1961 to '76, Impulse Records defined the shape of jazz - the label invited listeners in to an exciting and wide-ranging world of challenging, improvised music. It fully lived up to its motto of being 'The New Wave of Jazz'. The list of leaders Impulse recorded both mirrored and helped shape the diversity of the day: from Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Benny Carter and Pee Wee Russell to Count Basie, Art Blakey, J. J. Johnson, Max Roach and Sonny Stitt. But the musician who dominated the entire label, Impulse's best-selling artist and most enduring point of recognition, was John Coltrane. By 1967, the year the celebrated saxophonist died aged 40, the label had already been dubbed 'The House that Trane Built'. Coltrane's distinctively dark, searching tone and frenetic delivery was reaching a wider range of ears than any other jazz player, save for his former boss Miles Davis. His Impulse albums sold tens of thousands and to many, Coltrane's sound provided Impulse a political legitimacy and spiritual aura that could never have been created by any marketing department. Ashley Kahn's new book is a celebration of the label and its artists.
338 pages, hardcover.