MPS Records

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MPS Records was a German jazz record label founded in 1968. MPS stands for "Musik Produktion Schwarzwald" (Music Production Black Forest).[1]

History[edit]

Originally based in Villingen, MPS was founded as the successor to the SABA Label Records by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, together with Joachim Ernst Berendt, Willy Fruth and Achim Hebgen (who also worked as producers). MPS was the first German label to exclusively release jazz. MPS produced and released recordings by American, European and Japanese jazz artists. Recordings of the Berliner Jazztage, the Donaueschinger Musiktage and the New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden[2] were also published. Besides its own productions, MPS also licensed and distributed recordings by other companies.

Performers under contract to MPS included Oscar Peterson, Hans Koller, Horst Jankowski, George Duke, Erwin Lehn, Volker Kriegel, Albert Mangelsdorff, Singers Unlimited, Wolfgang Dauner, the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Alphonse Mouzon, Monty Alexander and Dave Pike. It is worth noting the wide stylistic spectrum, from swing to free jazz, jazz rock and precursors of ethno-jazz.

The hallmarks of MPS releases were the high quality of the recordings (some of the production was undertaken in the private atmosphere of label founder Brunner-Schwer's living room), the attractive design of the sleeves, and the detail of information about artists, instruments and performances. Some of these recordings have since been republished on CD.

The label was distributed by BASF from 1971, then by Metronome Music GmbH Hamburg from 1974. In 1983 Brunner-Schwer sold the rights to MPS to Philips, which then transferred it to Polydor. In 1993, Polydor subsidiary Motor Music began to release individual recordings on CD. In 1999, Universal Jazz program began re-releases. Since 2000, Speakers Corner Records have released vinyl reissues of individual MPS albums with their original artwork.

Universal Music Group has yet to find a buyer for MPS.[3]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]