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Impulse! Label Being Reactivated by Universal Music Group

Maiden release is Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9’s “Viper’s Drag”

Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein

Impulse! Records, the imprint that, in the 1960s and ’70s, released classic recordings by John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Gil Evans, Sonny Rollins and many other artists, is being revived by the Universal Music Group. The label’s reactivation will launch with the release of Viper’s Drag, by Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9, due out July 15 in the U.S. The new Impulse! is a division of Universal Music France, headquartered in Paris, and will be distributed by Blue Note Records in the U.S.

According to a press release, the label “will focus on new releases from artists including Randy Weston, Kenny Barron, Jacky Terrasson, Ran Blake, Rodney Kendrick, Sullivan Fortner, Jean-Luc Ponty/Stanley Clarke/Biréli Lagrène, Madeleine Peyroux and a previously-unreleased live duo album from Charlie Haden and Jim Hall recorded at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1990.”

The original Impulse! was founded in 1960 by Creed Taylor, who was succeeded by Bob Thiele. It became inactive in the late 1970s and was then revived in the late 1980s for releases from McCoy Tyner and Michael Brecker, as well as Henry Butler’s first two albums-Fivin’ Around and The Village-and later on Diana Krall and Alice Coltrane.

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