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Eighty-Eights Come to the States

Stop—before you shell out megabucks on eBay for Japanese-only discs like Clark Terry and Max Roach’s Friendship or Roy Haynes’ Love Letters: They won’t be Japanese-only much longer. Eighty-Eights, the Japanese label responsible for releasing those discs-as well as Ravi Coltrane’s Mad 6 and Eddie Henderson’s Miles Davis tribute, So What-has struck a deal with the mighty Columbia Records of the mighty United States which will have the CDs appear in American stores on April 15.

In case you’re clueless about Eighty-Eights, and that’s OK because it’s both a new label and based far, far away, it was founded by producer Yasohachi “88” Itoh, who had success in the 1970s recording folk like Art Farmer, Junior Mance, Sadao Watanabe, Andrew Hill and Sheila Jordan on his East Wind jazz label. Eighty-Eights is in fact an imprint of another label, Village Records label, which is a subsidiary of Sony Music Japan. To connect the dots even further, Sony Corporation owns Columbia.

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