The Revival of a Legendary Jazz Label Brings Reissue of Archie Shepp’s ’60s Albums

French BYG label is being revived by British reissue giants Charly Records

In the late ’60s French jazz label, BYG (an acronym of the founders of the label ­– Fernand Boruso, Jean-Luc Young, and Jean Georgakarakos), had the primary aim to record and capture a growing market of ‘freestyle’ jazz-oriented artists and exponents of avant-garde music that were beginning to emerge at the close of the 1960s.

The most renowned artists who recorded for the label were Archie Shepp, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Sonny Sharrock, and others.

As British Jazzwise magazine notes, after its inception in 1973/74, BYG merged with Charly Records as Jean-Luc Young, one of the three BYG founders, had set up the Charly imprint in 1974 but kept the BYG catalog on his own. Now, Charly Records will be re-releasing the vast majority of its catalog on CD, hi-res download, and vinyl over the next three years. The LPs have been carefully remastered from the original tapes and have been cut for vinyl by experts at AIR Studios in London. The original sleeves will be faithfully reproduced, and top writers – including Jazzwise scribe Kevin Le Gendre – have provided new sleeve notes.

First two jazz records out of the block are two Archie Shepp classics: Yasmina, A Black Woman; and Blasé, both from 1969.

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