Thursday, 26 July 2012

DENIS PRESTON: 'a smooth operator'

He's largely forgotten now, but in the 1960s Denis Preston (1916-79) was Britain's pre-eminent jazz producer and entrepreneur. He recorded innumerable albums at his own expense in his Lansdowne Studio in Holland Park, then licensed them to EMI and others through his Record Supervision company. Without him, there would probably be no albums by Rendell-Carr, Mike Taylor, Joe Harriott, Stan Tracey, Indo-Jazz Fusions, Amancio D'Silva, Guy Warren, Neil Ardley and many others. The same can't be said of any individual in any other genre, as far as I can think. There's barely info on him available, so I thought I'd post a couple of rare Melody Maker articles that fill in a bit of background.

First, a tribute by Ian Carr, published on May 18th 1968:

Second, a profile by Bob Houston, published on September 14th 1968:


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