Debut Records

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Debut Records was a United States jazz record label, founded in 1952 by bassist Charles Mingus, his then-wife Celia and drummer Max Roach.[1]

This short-lived label was an attempt to avoid the compromises of working for major companies. Intended to showcase work by new musicians, only about two dozen albums were issued before the company was wound up in 1957.[2] Nonetheless, several prominent jazz musicians made their first recordings as leaders for Debut, including pianist Paul Bley, and trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Thad Jones. Saxophonist Hank Mobley made his recording debut on the label, as a sideman with Roach.[3] Teo Macero, later a producer with Miles Davis, recorded his first album as a leader as a saxophonist for Debut, an album described by critic Dan Morganstern[4] as an oddball fusion of Lennie Tristano and Anton Webern.

Debut was the label on which the Jazz at Massey Hall concert album was first issued. Recorded in Toronto, it features Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach, and was the last recorded meeting of long-term musical partners Parker and Gillespie.

When Celia Mingus married Saul Zaentz, later head of Fantasy Records, Charles Mingus gave the Zaentzes control of the Debut catalog as a wedding gift. Mingus thought the gift fitting as Celia had handled the bulk of Debut's business affairs, and most of the seed money came from Celia's mother.[4]

A 12-CD set of the Debut recordings featuring Mingus, the majority of the label's output, was issued by Fantasy Records in 1992. A four-CD sequence entitled Mingus Rarities (Original Jazz Classics) collected some of the more obscure material featuring Mingus.


Debut Ten Inch series (10 inch LP)

Debut Twelve Inch series (12 inch LP):

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Priestley, Brian (1982). Mingus: A Critical Biography. London: Quartet Books. p. 46. ISBN 0-7043-2275-7. 
  2. ^ Debut Records discography accessed January 2, 2012
  3. ^ Pekar, H. A View of Debut, Metro, Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 1997
  4. ^ a b See Morganster's notes for the 4-CD set The Debut Records Story

External links[edit]