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date: 25 May 2020


  • Kazunori Sugiyama
  •  and Gary W. Kennedy


Record label established in Japan in 1982 by Disk Union. Disk Union had been set up as the Union Trading Company in 1941 and incorporated as the Union Electronics Trading Company in 1953; the company divided into Disk Union and Audio Union in 1979, but these two divisions merged once again under the name Disk Union in 1991. Its main activity is selling audio, visual, and computer media products through its own numerous stores in and around Tokyo; however, it also imports and serves as a wholesale distributor for LPs and CDs, and DIW is an extension of this facet of its business. The name DIW (Discs in the World) was taken from that of a magazine which introduced the latest releases from various European and American labels, and which was distributed at Disk Union stores.

DIW’s first album was recorded in 1983 in New York by Wilber Morris, with David Murray and Dennis Charles as sidemen. Murray later became one of the label’s principal artists. Others with extensive recordings in the catalogue include the Art Ensemble of Chicago, James “Blood” Ulmer (under his own name and as the leader of the Music Revelation Ensemble), Kaoru Abe, and John Zorn’s quartet Masada; David S. Ware, Harold Mabern, James Williams, Jean-Paul Bourelly, John Hicks, Lester Bowie, and Steve Grossman are also well represented. Always keen to record new and aggressive artists, DIW has released early albums by James Carter and Rodney Whitaker. In ...

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Jazz Times (Washington, 1980-)