- Mark Gardner
Record company and label. The company was established in 1957 by Doug Dobell (b London, 1918; d Nice, France, 10 July 1987), the owner of a record store in London. The first discs to be released were 10-inch EPs, which were put out in limited quantities. Later the catalogue was expanded to include 12-inch LPs; by the mid-1970s the company had issued more than 50 albums, mostly of traditional and mainstream jazz. The catalogue included recordings made by such English musicians as Tubby Hayes, Bruce Turner, Dick Morrissey, Keith Smith, Kenny Baker, and Tony Coe and items by visiting Americans, among them Bud Freeman, Eddie Miller, Buck Clayton, Albert Nicholas, and George Lewis (i). In 1962 the company sponsored and issued the results of Jack McVea’s first session as a leader in 15 years. Much of the repertory was produced by Dobell, who, as a pianist himself, was responsible for recording albums by Dick Wellstood, Dill Jones, Brian Lemon, Don Ewell, Dick Katz, Joe Turner (i), and Ralph Sutton. In addition 77 issued some albums first put out by Delmark and other small American labels.
After 1979 the company made no new recordings, although much of the repertory remained available for some years. In the early 1980s, however, Dobell began to dispose of the catalogue to other companies, selling many of the masters to Harlequin, and others (particularly of traditional jazz) to American organizations. By 1984 the company had ceased to function.