MPS Records: 50th label anniversary - 2018
50 years of jazz history – MPS celebrates a half-century milestone - Diversity, courage and quality: those are the trademarks with which MPS – Musik Produktion Schwarzwald – and company founder Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer achieved world-wide renown as Germany’s first jazz label. On April first, 2018, MPS reaches a historic milestone: this hallmark of excellence in jazz recording celebrates its fiftieth year.
Oscar Peterson - ©MPS-Archive
In 2014, ten years after Brunner-Schwer’s death, the MPS catalogue found a new home, the company Edel AG. Edel began updating the MPS history, forging ahead in new directions. The MPS catalogue’s vast treasure was once again made accessible to the public, as, LP-by-LP, all the albums were digitalized, and specially chosen albums were re-released in the highest audio fidelity on vinyl and tape. These include recordings Oscar Peterson, George Duke, and Monty Alexander. Parallel to this, after a 30-year pause, MPS has begun writing a new chapter with a wide stylistic spectrum of brand-new releases that include clarinet legend Rolf Kühn, soul songstress China Moses, Berlin jazz marvel Lisa Bassenge, Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Hollanda, and world music star Mari Boine. MPS has already received three prestigious ECHO (German Grammy equivalent) awards for its exciting, open-ended repertoire of new recordings. The release-renaissance continues in 2018. Rolf Kühn has returned to the studio, as has the charismatic jazz singer Malia and the experimental vocalist and arranger Erik Leuthäuser. Beginning in April, the “Ambassador” series bridges the gap between present players and past MPS milestones. Heavy hitters, ranging from Gilles Peterson and Ed Motta on through to Till Brönner and Götz Alsmann, will present their favorite albums out of the Black Forest catalogue, and include their own personal impressions as liner notes. Naturally, the re-releases are all new pressings of these MPS classics.
MPS stood as a Mecca for Oscar Peterson, George Duke, the Singers Unlimited, and a host of talented young European discoveries. Situated in Villingen, in Germany’s Black Forest region, for some two decades MPS studios wrote pioneering jazz history through its high-level recording technique and unmistakable aesthetic. Today, the “most perfect sound made in the Black Forest” continues to perk up the ears of analogue fans worldwide. Next, a historical sketch.