Justin Time Records Celebrates 25 Years

The Montreal-based record label Justin Time Records first recording was inspired by a particularly swinging evening at local jazz club. It was there that founder Jim West first heard the Oliver Jones Trio, immediately sensing they should be recorded. It was, shortly thereafter, and Justin Time Records was born. Named for West's then infant son, the label's first release was Live at Biddle's Jazz & Ribs by Oliver Jones Trio (with bassist Charlie Biddle and drummer Bernard Primeau). It was also pianist Oliver Jones' first foray into recorded jazz as a leader.

A beautifully produced 2-CD 25th Anniversary Collection, documenting some of the esteemed label's finest moments to date will hit stores on August 26th in the USA. It features music spanning its entire history, from its first signings - Oliver Jones, Ranee Lee and the Montreal Jubilation Choir - to Diana Krall's (Gold certified) debut, Dave Young's duets with Oscar Peterson and other piano legends; the label's increased visibility worldwide; and its signing of American jazzmen David Murray, Billy Bang, World Saxophone Quartet and Hank Jones.

The label's musical diversity is also in evidence, as it moved beyond its initial emphasis on jazz and gospel to its signing of blues powerhouse Bryan Lee, world music sensations Quartango and Intakto, the hip hop hybrid of the inimitable Russell Gunn, and the unique songwriting and production esthetic of Coral Egan.

On Saturday, July 5th, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal presented "A Night To Remember, " Justin Time's celebration of a quarter century of great music, featuring an impressive line-up at the prestigious Place-Des-Arts, featuring Billy Bang, Ranee Lee, the Montreal Jubilation Choir, Coral Egan, Yannick Rieu, Chet Doxas, Lorraine Klaasen, Dawn Tyler Watson & Paul Deslauriers, Bryan Lee & The Blues Power Band and, of course, Oliver Jones.

In the past quarter century, the label has released more than 300 recordings. Although Justin Time is recognized mainly as a jazz label, its catalogue of recordings also features albums in the musical genres of blues, gospel, world, tango, folk, comedy, film soundtracks, pop and rock. In addition, its artists have garnered numerous awards and nominations including Juno, Félix, Grammy, Jazz Report, National Jazz Awards and Choc Awards (from the French magazine Jazzman). The label has received accolades from such international publications as Billboard, Downbeat, Jazz Times, Musician, The Wire, Jazz Magazine, Jazz Podium, Swing Journal, and Coda.

In 1990, the label launched Just a Memory Records, a label devoted to unique re-issues and previously unreleased gems. Some of the series featured on that label are the Collectors' Classics, showcasing live recordings made in various Montreal venues in the 1960's and 1970's. In 1997, Justin Time launched another imprint, Just a Minute Records, whose musical direction has a decidedly rock angle.

Justin Time Records 25th Anniversary Collection (JUSTSAM 2525-2) will be released on Aug 26th in the USA.

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