To a whole generation of listeners, the name Atlantic actually means Atlantic Jazz. From the mid-1950s, the label founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson started a separate series to embrace what was then called “modern jazz”. Joined by Ahmet’s brother Neshui in 1955, they brought the label into the 12-inch LP market, and built up a whole new roster. Over the next two decades, they released some of the most important jazz albums ever made: John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Charles Mingus Blues & Roots, the Modern Jazz Quartet’s Pyramid, Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, and many more.
"Blue Note is unequivocally the most iconic and influential label in jazz history but Atlantic Records isn't far behind. From 1955 up until the mid '70s, the company's jazz division - originally headed by producer Nesuhi Ertegun - built up an impressive roster of musicians, that at one time or another included Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Major cutting-edge albums by that holy trinity, namely Mingus' Blues & Roots, Coltrane's Giant Steps and Coleman's Change Of The Century are key selections in this 20-CD set of classic Atlantic albums, which comes adorned in mini-replica LP sleeves. Albums by Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Keith Jarrett, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea and Billy Cobham are also featured but the inclusion of lighter offerings from Dave Pike, Mel Torme and Herbie Mann proves Atlantic wasn't just for purists. " Mojo ****
"This well-chosen and representative 20-CD box set covers the period between 1958 and 1973. Charles Mingus' Blues & Roots, John Coltrane's Giant Steps and Ornette Coleman's Change Of The Century were game-changers; early albums by Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett still sound experimental, and Mel Torme's vocals are timeless." Financial Times ****
"I can't imagine anyone not wanting to have this magnificent set, with its now familarly miniatures LP covers. I recommend for aching limbs and tired ears." Jazz Journal ****