Fans of avant-garde free jazz will find a new collection of recordings to sift through with a new handful of ESP-DISK re-releases.
With typewriter fonts and vivid graphics, the digipak albums are a handheld version of the free jazz that ESP got its start recording. Albums with live performances and recordings from artists like Ornette Coleman (pictured), Henry Grimes, Don Cherry, Albert Ayler and Milford Graves comprise ESP’s catalog.
ESP’s diverse, engaging and underground collection stems from its beginnings-athe label opened in 1966 in New York City. Forty-five albums were recorded in the first 18 months of its existence.
But the label eventually ran out of funding in 1974, and the recordings were stored in safety deposit boxes until a German recording company made tapes of them in 1992.
Despite its lifespan, the company garnered a number of noteworthy live performances and full-length records. Since 2005, ESP titles have been available on CD for purchase at retailers, online or through digital music services.