BYG Actuel

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BYG Actuel was a French record label specializing in free jazz. The label also released a small number of non-jazz recordings by artists such as Musica Elettronica Viva, Freedom and Gong.

History[edit]

BYG Records was founded in March 1967 by Jean Georgakarakos, Jean-Luc Young and Fernand Boruso. The name of the label was formed from the initial letters of the founders' surnames. Karakos had previously established himself as a record distributor and importer, while Young worked for Barclay Records and Boruso for Saravah, the record label formed by filmmaker Claude Lelouch.

The label invited American free jazz musicians to Paris to record in the summer of 1969, a time when they were receiving little support or attention in the United States. Many of these musicians were already overseas at the time, having appeared at the Pan-African Music Festival in Algiers in July 1969.[1] (Jazz photographer Jacques Bisceglia was largely responsible for connecting the label and musicians, and the "B" in BYG is often wrongly held to refer to Bisceglia.) The resulting albums are an important repository of free jazz recordings from the period.

BYG Actuel was also responsible for organising the Actuel festival, which took place in late October 1969 in the small Belgian town of Amougies. The festival was initially intended to take place in or near Paris, but was banned by the French authorities. It featured many leading exponents of free jazz and progressive rock, e.g. Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, Soft Machine, Ten Years After, Yes and The Nice. The festival was a popular success, with around 20,000 visitors over the space of five nights, but it was a financial failure. In July 1970, Georgakarakos organised the Popanalia festival at Biot on the French Riviera, but this was also financially unsuccessful. By 1972, financial problems had plagued BYG to the point where it virtually went underground. Georgakarakos and Young later formed their own record labels, Celluloid (Georgakarakos) and Charly (Young). In 2002 a compilation album featuring the best of the label, JazzActuel: a collection of avant garde/free jazz/psychedelia from the BYG/Actuel catalogue of 1969–1971, was released by Charly (as a 3-CD set) and Get Back Records of Italy (as a 6LP set). The collection was curated by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and journalist Byron Coley.[2]

Discography[edit]

Catalogue number Artist Album
529301 Cherry, Don Mu - First Part
529302 Art Ensemble of Chicago A Jackson in Your House
529303 Murray, Sunny Hommage To Africa
529304 Shepp, Archie Yasmina, a Black Woman
529305 Gong Magick Brother
529306 Jones, Arthur Africanasia
529307 Puig, Michel Stigmates
529308 Greene, Burton Aquariana
529309 Lyons, Jimmy Other Afternoons
529310 Jack, Alan Bluesy Mind [never issued]
529311 Shepp, Archie Poem for Malcolm
529312 Silva, Alan Luna Surface
529313 Bley, Paul Ramblin'
529314 Acting Trio Acting Trio
529315 Braxton, Anthony B-Xo/N-0-1-4-7a
529316 Cyrille, Andrew What About?
529317 Kuhn, Joachim Sounds Of Feelings
529318 Shepp, Archie Blasé
529319 Coursil, Jacques Way Ahead
529320 Burrell, Dave Echo
529321 Moncur III, Grachan New Africa
529322 Terroade, Kenneth Love Rejoice
529323 Thornton, Clifford Ketchaoua
529324 Ame Son Catalyse
529325 Freedom Freedom At Last
529326 Musica Elettronica Viva Sound Pool, The
529327 Marietan, Pierre & Terry Riley Germ-Keyboard Study 2
529328 Art Ensemble of Chicago Message to Our Folks
529329 Art Ensemble of Chicago Reese and the Smooth Ones
529330 Burrell, Dave La Vie de Bohème
529331 Cherry, Don Mu - Second Part
529332 Murray, Sunny (Never Give A Sucker) An Even Break
529333 Moncur, Grachan Aco Dei De Madrugada
529334 Redman, Dewey Tarik
529335 Musica Elettronica Viva Leave The City
529336 Wright, Frank One For John
529337 Sharrock, Sonny Monkey-Pockie-Boo
529338 Shepp, Archie And The Full Moon Ensemble Live In Antibes Vol. 1
529339 Shepp, Archie And The Full Moon Ensemble Live In Antibes Vol. 2
529340 Sun Ra Solar-Myth Approach, The Vol. 2
529341 Sun Ra Solar-Myth Approach, The Vol. 1
529342-4 Silva, Alan Seasons
529345 Allen, Daevid Banana Moon
529346 Kuhn, Joachim Paris Is Wonderful
529347 Braxton, Anthony This Time...
529348 Murray, Sunny Sunshine
529349 Coursil, Jacques Black Suite
529350 Jones, Arthur Scorpio
529351 Shepp, Archie Live at the Pan-African Festival
529352 Lacy, Steve Moon
529353 Gong Camembert Electrique

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bridge across the cliff. Village Voice, 18 July 2000.
  2. ^ Downbeat, June 2002.