Carl Jefferson founded Concord Jazz which he ran from 1972 until his death in 1995. A successful used car dealer, in 1969 he organized the Concord Summer Festival which in a few years became the Concord Jazz Festival. A great fan of swinging mainstream jazz, Jefferson started the Concord label in 1972 because so few of the artists who he enjoyed were being recorded. At first its releases seemed to emphasize guitarists (including Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, and Barney Kessel who recorded separately and together as Great Guitars) but soon its catalog gained more diversity. The young modern swing movement of Scott Hamilton, Warren Vaché, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, and later Ken Peplowski were well documented, such veterans as Dave McKenna, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Tormé, and George Shearing found a home, hard bop was well represented (including a few Art Blakey sets), and the subsidiary, Concord Picante, featured the best in Latin jazz (including Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, and Poncho Sanchez). Prior to his death in March 1995, Jefferson produced over 500 sessions for his label. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

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