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Groove Merchant

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Groove Merchant
Founded1971 (1971)
FounderSonny Lester
Distributor(s)Pickwick Records
GenreJazz, R&B
Country of originU.S.
Official websitelrc-groovemerchantrecords.com

Groove Merchant was an American jazz and R&B record label during the 1970s. It was run by producer Sonny Lester and distributed by Pickwick Records. Notable artists included Chick Corea, O'Donel Levy, Buddy Rich, Jimmy McGriff, Lonnie Smith and Lionel Hampton. Lester would later close Groove Merchant and restructure it as Lester Radio Corporation, or LRC; TK Records were distributors for a period. Lester still retains the rights to the Groove Merchant/LRC back catalog and independently distributes them on compact disc.



500 Series


The Groove Merchant 500 Series consisted of 34 albums released between 1971 and 1974.[1]

Catalog Artist Album Notes
GM 501 O'Donel Levy Black Velvet
GM 502 Junior Parker You Don't Have To Be Black To Love The Blues UK title: Blue Shadows Falling
GM 503 Jimmy McGriff Groove Grease
GM 504 Joe Thomas Joy of Cookin'
GM 505 Groove Holmes American Pie
GM 506 Jimmy McGriff Let's Stay Together
GM 507 O'Donel Levy Breeding of Mind
GM 508 Lucky Thompson Goodbye Yesterday
GM 509 Jimmy McGriff Fly Dude
GM 510 Dakota Staton Madame Foo-Foo
GM 511 Reuben Wilson The Sweet Life
GM 512 Groove Holmes Night Glider
GM 513 Junior Parker Love Ain't Nothin' But a Business Goin' On originally released as The Outside Man on Capitol
GM 514 Larry Willis Inner Crisis
GM 515 Jimmy McGriff / Lucky Thompson + George Freeman + O'Donel Levy Concert: Friday the 13th - Cook County Jail Live split album
GM 516 Ramon Morris Sweet Sister Funk
GM 517 Lucky Thompson I Offer You
GM 518 O'Donel Levy Dawn of a New Day
GM 519 George Freeman New Improved Funk
GM 520 Jimmy McGriff and Groove Holmes Giants of the Organ Come Together
GM 521 Dakota Staton I Want a Country Man
GM 522 Carmen McRae It Takes a Whole Lot of Human Feeling
GM 523 Reuben Wilson The Cisco Kid
GM 524 No release issued for this part number
GM 525 Mike Longo Funkia
GM 526 O'Donel Levy Simba
GM 527 Groove Holmes New Groove
GM 528 Buddy Rich The Roar of '74
GM 529 Jimmy McGriff If You're Ready Come Go with Me Compilation featuring tracks from Soul Sugar, Groove Grease, Let's Stay Together and Fly Dude, plus two previously unreleased tracks.
GM 530 Chick Corea Sundance Reissue of GM 2202
GM 531 Carmen McRae Ms. Jazz
GM 532 Dakota Staton Ms. Soul
GM 533 Zoot Sims and Bucky Pizzarelli + Buddy Rich Nirvana
GM 534 Jimmy McGriff The Main Squeeze
GM 535 O'Donel Levy Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky

2200 Series


The 2200 Series, released in 1972, consisted of five albums which feature previously released and/or unissued material produced by Sonny Lester for various other labels.[2]

Catalog Artist Album Notes
GM 2201 Count Basie Evergreens originally released as Basic Basie on MPS.
GM 2202 Chick Corea Sundance previously unreleased tracks from the 'Is' recording sessions for Solid State.
GM 2203 Jimmy McGriff Black and Blues double LP of previously unreleased material recorded circa 1963.
GM 2204 Jeremy Steig Fusion double LP featuring tracks originally released as Energy on Capitol, along with a whole LP (=7 tracks) of previously unreleased material.
GM 2205 Jimmy McGriff and Junior Parker Good Things Don't Happen Every Day originally released as The Dudes Doin' Business on Capitol.

3300 Series


The 3300 Series consisted of sixteen albums released between 1973 and 1976.[3]

Catalog Artist Album Notes
GM 3300 Jimmy McGriff and Groove Holmes Giants of the Organ in Concert Live 2LP set
GM 3301 Buddy Rich Very Live at Buddy's Place
GM 3302 Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton Transition
GM 3303 Buddy Rich The Last Blues Album Volume 1 Later issued on LRC as Loot To Boot under Illinois Jacquet's name.
GM 3304 Mike Longo 900 Shares of the Blues
GM 3305 George Freeman Man & Woman
GM 3306 Lee Konitz Chicago 'n All That Jazz
GM 3307 Buddy Rich Big Band Machine
GM 3308 Lonnie Smith Afro–desia
GM 3309 Jimmy McGriff Stump Juice
GM 3310 Joe Thomas Masada
GM 3311 Jimmy McGriff The Mean Machine
GM 3312 Lonnie Smith Keep on Lovin' Reissued in 1977 on LRC/T.K. 9312
GM 3313 O'Donel Levy Windows Reissued in 1977 on LRC/T.K. 9313
GM 3314 Jimmy McGriff Red Beans Reissued in 1977 on LRC/T.K. 9314
GM 3315 Joe Thomas Feelin's from Within Reissued in 1977 on LRC/T.K. 9315

4000 Series


The 4000 Series, released in 1974–1975, consisted of twelve double LP compilations of previously issued material.[4]