In a move that brings together two coasts and two countries in the name of great jazz, Brooklyn music label La Reserve has announced a new partnership with the Vancouver-based Cellar Music Group, which includes the imprints CellarLive, Cellar Music, and Reel to Real Recordings. La Reserve will now represent the existing Cellar catalog of nearly 150 albums and all future releases for digital distribution.
Founded in 2001 by tenor saxophonist and impresario Cory Weeds, Cellar began as a means of documenting performances at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, which Weeds ran for 14 years, and then grew to include studio recordings and (via Real to Reel, which debuted in 2018) archival discoveries. Its catalog now includes titles by Louis Hayes, Cannonball Adderley, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Joe Magnarelli, Peter Bernstein, Jeff Hamilton, Charles McPherson, David “Fathead” Newman, and Etta Jones, as well as Jeb Patton, Grant Stewart, Weeds himself, and the Juno Award-winning Metalwood, among others.
La Reserve, meanwhile, was founded in 2017 and has focused principally on developing the careers of up-and-coming artists. Its current roster includes Yellow Shoots, Benny Benack III, Tuarrah, TWYN, and Alexander Claffy.
Cellar’s next release, due out tomorrow (May 8), is Day by Day, the latest from Cory Weeds, featuring a quartet with pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Ken Lister, and drummer Jesse Cahill. Among the many titles planned for later this year is one particular standout on Real to Reel: a reissue of bassist Neil Swainson’s only album as a leader, 1989’s 49th Parallel, featuring Woody Shaw (in his last studio recording) and Joe Henderson. This will be the album’s first time in print in more than 15 years. In addition, La Reserve and Cellar plan to partner with further labels in the near future to extend their growing catalog.