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One of the UK’s most forward thinking record labels and stores, Soul Jazz have just release this amazing collection of album sleeves of the deepest and weirdest  jazz music ever, compiled by legendary DJs and record label founders Gilles Peterson (Acid Jazz, Talkin Loud, Brownswood) and Stuart Baker (Soul Jazz Records).

A unique collection of cover artwork from jazz albums between 1965-83, a time when avant garde jazz moved closer to the mainstrain thanks to appropriation by artists like Miles Davis and Weather Report. Influenced by the revolutionary politics of  Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the civil rights movement and the freedom of hippy culture of the 1960s young jazz musicians were given the  self-determination and economic power to follow their own cosmic musical paths.  Artists like Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and others ‘took control’ of their own work by recording, releasing and distributing their own music themselves.

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The record sleeves of this era are as iconic and historically unique as the music itself and a striking reflection of the time.  In a time before desktop publishing and without the influence of record company marketing men these hard to find  private press records (sometimes as low as 500 copies) featured bizarre and psychedelic self-made sleeves which are as radical as the music flowing from the discs they housed.  Its a movement that preceded the D-I-Y cultural revolution of punk, and is just as influential on both the aesthetic and ethos of street culture.

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‘Freedom, Rhythm and Sound’ is the first ever collection of this fascinating goldmine of album art, which represents the first wave of inspired independent production within popular music.

Available now from Sounds Of The Universe.