Best Independent Jazz Labels
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The Best Independent Jazz Labels

If you are always looking for the newest sounds, artists, and releases, then we’ve prepared two lists to help you on your mission:

To wrap up this post, we will explain why we encourage you to follow these labels.

Jazz music has a rich history, with numerous iconic and influential record labels contributing to its evolution over the years. While major record labels have played a significant role in shaping the jazz landscape (e.g., Columbia with jazz fusion), there are also many independent labels that have made their mark on the genre. These smaller, independent labels often provide a platform for up-and-coming artists, and as access to digital music has changed the way new albums are promoted, we can see the current independent jazz labels blossoming thanks to this new digital world.

I. The Current 15 Best Independent Jazz Labels

Here is our selection of the current 15 best independent jazz labels in alphabetical order, with a link to their Bandcamp page–which we warmly advise you to follow–and a recent release as an example:

  1. 577 Records, Brooklyn, New York– “NYC-based independent record label specializing in avant-garde, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental.”
    • Jessica Pavone, Lukas Koenig, Matt Mottel – Spam Likely
  2. Astral Spirits, Austin, Texas — “The New Wave of Heavy Free Jazz since September 2014.”
  3. AUM Fidelity, Brooklyn, New York — “…is a recording label & action concern long devoted to pro-creative sound and song. The focus has always been on premier jazz & elemental soul music”
  4. Clean Feed, Lisbon, Portugal — “Clean Feed Records is a jazz record label founded in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2001.”
  5. Edition Records, United Kingdom — “Founded in 2008, Edition Records is a British Independent Jazz Record Label with a European sensibility and global presence.”
  6. Fundacja Słuchaj, Warsaw, Poland — “…”
  7. Intakt Records, Zurich, Switzerland — “Independent Jazz record label located in Zürich.”
  8. International Anthem, Chicago, Illinois — “International Anthem is a Chicago-born recording company that produces and promotes progressive media.”
  9. Mahakala Music, Hot Springs, Arkansas — “We publish aggressively beautiful music, connecting geographically and culturally disparate musicians.”
    • (D)IVO Saxophone Quartet – (D)IVO
  10. Pi Recordings, New York, New York — “Pi Recordings is a New York-based record label dedicated to releasing innovative music by artists with unique and defining voices.”
  11. Pyroclastic Records, New York, New York — “Independent record label led by Kris Davis.”
  12. Relative Pitch Records, New York, New York — “NYC-based independent record label specializing in avant-garde, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental.”
    • Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman, Anna Lund – Space
  13. RogueArt, Paris, France — “RogueArt is an independent jazz label based in Paris France. RogueArt started in 2005 and has more than 100 albums on its catalog.”
  14. Trost Records, Vienna, Austria — “Independent label from Vienna, Austria, combining record store, distribution and the labels Trost, Cien Fuegos (free jazz & new wave reissues),”
  15. TUM, Helsinki, Finland — “The focus of TUM Records is on improvised, jazz-based music, placing particular emphasis on free expression and the performing artists´ own music.”

II. Jazz Record Labels To Follow

Listed here in alphabetical order are the most important jazz record labels (both independent and not), our favorites, and some other recommended ones.

Note: If you are an independent jazz label owner and would like to be included in this list, please do contact us. We would love to hear from you and add your label to our post.

Best Jazz Labels
Photo by Nick Hillier

III. Why Should I Follow An Independent Jazz Label?

Simply because it is an easy way to:

  1. Discover new music: Record labels often sign and release music from various artists, many of whom may be relatively unknown or newcomers. By following a label, you can discover new music and artists that you may not have come across otherwise but who are certainly matching your music preferences.
  2. Get updates on new releases: Many labels will announce new releases or tour dates on their Bandcamp updates or through newsletters, so following a label will help you stay up-to-date on what’s new and coming soon.
  3. Support your favorite artists: If you enjoy the music of a particular artist, following their record label can help you stay connected to their work and support their career.
  4. Explore a particular genre or style: If you have a specific genre or style of music that you enjoy, following a label that specializes in that type of music can help you discover new artists and releases within that category.

And if you still don’t want to, we suggest you sign up to receive our updates, as we can do the heavy lift for you:

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Final Words

The jazz world is clearly alive, and the excellence of all these independent jazz record labels proves it. The 15 best ones are to be followed and we suggest you take the time to discover the full list as many more are amazing and worth exploring. All these labels offer a diverse range of perspectives on jazz and provide a platform for up-and-coming artists.

So, from a jazz fan to all these independent jazz labels: thank you!

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