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CTI Records

Profile:

CTI (short for Creed Taylor Inc.) is a US record label owned and overseen by jazz producer Creed Taylor. Label Code: LC 1969 / LC 01969.

He began the CTI label in 1967 as an imprint of Herb Alpert's A&M Records. Three years later Taylor took CTI out from under the A&M umbrella and relaunched CTI as an independent label. From June, 1974 to May, 1976, CTI and its sublabels were exclusively distributed in the USA by Motown Record Corporation.

In 1978, the label filed for bankruptcy; however, much of its catalog has remained in print (Creed Taylor launched the 8000 reissue series in 1979.) Taylor and Vic Chirumbolo, CTI's Vice-President and Sales Manager, pulled through and formed a new distribution deal with Columbia Records, but this deal was short lived, and ended in 1980 with Columbia retaining the rights to CTI's master tape library (i.e., the titles released between 1970 and 1979.) Then the label went independent once again, and continued active until 1984, releasing new albums by such artists as Jim Hall, Roland Hanna and the all-star studio band Fuse One.

Creed Taylor restructured CTI in 1989, following a jury award as a result of the long running lawsuit with Warner Brothers over George Benson's contract. Creed Taylor resumed his partnership with engineer Rudy Van Gelder and photographer Pete Turner when recording the all-star session Rhythmstick in June 1989 (an ambitious project released on vinyl, CD, VHS and LaserDisc in 1990). Five other joint CD/VHS/Laserdisc projects were planned with CD distribution initially being handled by PolyGram, then Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings, Ltd.(1991-92), Independent National Distributors, Inc. 1993-94 and finally Koch Records(1995-96). In 1993, David Bean was appointed President of CTI Records and Video in New York. He was joined shortly afterwards by David Grossman as VP of Sale and Marketing, and together they handled the final CTI original releases, numbered 6723**-2. The final CTI original release is believed to be Steve Laury - Vineland Dreams.

In 2002, CTI started to issue mail-order only releases via ctirecords.com and it's sister website ctijazz.com - the website ceased operation in 2009. The site also sold Creed Taylor productions from the Bethlehem, ABC, Impulse, Verve and CTI catalogs. [There are a number of snapshots of the ctirecords.com website in the Internet archive, see link in url section] - the website is active again (Sept. 2021) and under development on behalf of Taylor's family. At this point it's unclear what the website will be used for.

More recently, Creed Taylor himself produced an extensive SHM-CD reissue series in 2009, supervising all the remasterings done by Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. In September 2010, a new CTI project, "The CTI Jazz All-Star Band: Montreux Jazz Festival 2009" (produced by Taylor and engineered by Van Gelder) was released in Japan on CD, DVD and Blu-ray formats.

Extensive CD reissue series have been coordinated in Europe and in the U.S. by producer Didier C. Deutsch, former CTI publicist, as well as in Japan by producers Yoichi Nakao, Arnaldo DeSouteiro and Susumu Morikawa.

Canada:
A&M CTI from 1967 to 1970 - handled by Quality Records Limited
A&M CTI after 1970 - handled by A&M Records Of Canada Limited
CTI from Feb 1970 until May 1973 - handled by Quality Records Limited
CTI from May 1973 to March 1977 - handled by CTI Records Of Canada Ltd.
CTI from March 1977 to late 1979 - handled by RCA Limited
CTI from late 1979/early 1980 to 1984 - handled by Sefel Records Ltd.

France: handled by RCA S.A. between August 1970 into 1979 (with manufacturing outsourced to various local pressing plants).

Japan: distributed by King Records since 1970.

The Netherlands: handled by Phonodisc B.V. before 1972, by Dureco between 1972 and 1978. Dureco usually added minimal additional branding and Dutch releases can often only be identified by the runouts and the appearance of "Biem". Dureco received both tapes and lithos from the US and cut lacquers in-house at Dureco Studio. To cut costs the lithos often went unchanged before printing, resulting in legacy information (e.g. catalogue numbers, distributors, "Printed in U.S.A.") remaining present.

New Zealand: distributed by PolyGram Records Limited since December 1970, subsequently by Phonogram Ltd. (2) between September 1972 and 1978.

South West Africa: distributed by Teal Records in South Africa, Rhodesia, Zambia, Kenya, Angola etc. since December 1970.

UK and Eire: handled by Philips Records Ltd./Polydor Records Ltd. (and pressing by Phonodisc Ltd.) since August 1970, subsequently by Polydor Ltd. between January 1972 and April 1972, when a 3-year distribution deal was made with Pye Records (Sales) Ltd. Afterwards CTI returned to Polydor.

US: before 1974 CTI relied on local distributors, including Beta Records Distributor (NY), Apex Martin Record Sales (NJ) and TDC (Hartfort, Conn.) Distributed by Motown Records Corporation between July 1974 and 1977. Pre-1974 releases sometimes appear with a sticker for distribution by Motown, affixed later. In order to get out under the Motown deal, Taylor was forced to relinquish his star act Grover Washington, Jr. and his back catalogue.

CTI's overseas distribution agreements were negotiated by John Nathan of Overseas Music Services Inc.

Parent Label:Creed Taylor, Inc.
Sublabels:CTI 50th Anniversary Special Collection, CTI PS, CTI Records Of Canada Ltd., Kudu, Salvation (4), Three Brothers Records
Contact Info:

1970 - 1972
36 East 57 St.
New York, NY 10022

1972 - 1979
1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

1980 - 1984
Old Chelsea Station
New York NY, 10013

Links:onamrecords.com , dougpayne.com , Wikipedia , rateyourmusic.com , web.archive.org , ctirecords.com , Google , ctproduced.com

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Releases

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Reviews

  • nopussyfooting's avatar
    If a friend came to me saying they wanted to get into jazz but didn't know where to start, I'd point them to CTI. It's such a great way to ease someone into jazz-related music without it being too foreign-sounding from what they're used to. This catalog has something for every music-lover wanting to explore the jazzier side of music. For rock fans there's stuff like Deodato (2 especially), or if you're coming from a soul/funk background there's George Benson, some of Freddie Hubbard (First Light), etc. If you're a prog fan you've got your Milt Jackson or Hubert Laws, along with a ton of albums with Billy Cobham on drums.

    Such a great catalog to dive right into. Nearly every album has a star-studded lineup so there's redeemable qualities to all the music.
    • spinmarket's avatar
      spinmarket
      The best late 60s and early 70s jazz records are on CTI. Whenever I see a clean copy on this label in a store I give it serious consideration. They are usually in glossy gatefold sleeves and they often have some of the best players of the day collected for the sessions. Ron Carter, Hubert Laws, Eric Gale, George Benson, etc. Some of the albums can be a little experimental and a bit far for my taste (Joe Farrell, Allan Holdsworth) but most are very accessible. A few favorites if you're looking to explore and especially if you like 70s jazz rearrangements of contemporary pop hits of the 60s and 70s; George Benson: White Rabbit, Freddie Hubbard: First Light, Stanley Turrentine: Sugar, Wes Montgomery: A Day In The Life, and the penultimate CTI release, Quincy Jones: Walking In Space. Here's a great discography with pictures of all the album art. http://www.dougpayne.com/cti.htm