Strata-East All-Stars Celebrate Label’s 50th Anniversary


Charles Tolliver

(Photo: Jimmy Katz)

On June 16 at 6:30 p.m. (CDT), the Strata-East All-Stars will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the artist-driven label created by Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell in 1971.

Strata-East@50 will feature Tolliver, Billy Harper, George Cables, Buster Williams and a variety of special guests. The show will be streamed live via Dreamstage from the DiMenna Centre in Manhattan.

“Sadly, Stanley recently passed away, but we will be giving tribute to him as well,” Tolliver said in a fund-raising video for the event. “Strata-East was a miracle endeavor some 50 years in the making. And throughout its storied history, its primary and steadfast goal was, still is and always will be to ensure that there is an avenue by which artist-produced recordings could reach the marketplace for our devoted fans and our new fans.”

The label’s most recent reissue in 2019 was Tolliver’s Right Now…And Then, his first studio session, which he self-funded in 1968, with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Joe Chambers and Gary Bartz. The first recording actually on Strata-East, released back in 1971, was his Music Inc. with Cowell, Cecil McBee and Jimmy Hopps. In between, the label has served as a home for Tolliver’s recorded output, always with a stellar cast in support. For example, in 1975 Tolliver released Impact with an orchestra that included Charles McPherson, George Coleman, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Owens, Cecil McBee, Reggie Workman and James Spaulding.

The label has also released music by everyone from Clifford Jordan, Pharoah Sanders, The Heath Brothers and Charlie Rouse to Max Roach’s M’Boom, James Mtume’s Mtume Umoja Ensemble and James “Plunky” Branch’s Juju.

For tickets and more information to stream the event, go to DB

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