Debut Records

Debut Records was a United States jazz record label, which was founded in 1952 by bassist Charles Mingus, his then-wife Celia and drummer Max Roach.

This short-lived label was an attempt to avoid the compromises of working for major companies. Intended to showcase work by new musicians, only about two dozen albums were issued before the company was wound up in 1957. Nonetheless, several notables made their first recordings as bandleaders for Debut, including pianist Paul Bley, and trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Thad Jones. Saxophonist Hank Mobley made his recording debut on the label, as a sideman with Dorham. Teo Macero, later to find fame as a producer with Miles Davis, recorded his first album as a bandleader as a saxophonist for Debut, an album described by critic Dan Morganstern as an oddball fusion of Lennie Tristano and Anton Webern.

Debut was the label on which the celebrated Jazz at Massey Hall concert album was first issued. Recorded in Toronto, this classic album features Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach, and was the last recorded meeting of long-term musical partners Parker and Gillespie.

When Celia Mingus married Saul Zaentz, then head of Fantasy Records, Charles Mingus gave Saul and Celia control of the Debut catalog as a wedding gift. Mingus thought the gift fitting as Celia had handled the bulk of Debut's business affairs, and most of the seed money came from Celia's mother.

A 12-CD set of those Debut recordings featuring Mingus, the majority of the label's output, was issued by Fantasy Records in 1992.

Read more about Debut Records:  Discography

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