The New York City-based record label Candid Records has re-released a number of classic Black albums. Founded in 1960 by Archie Bleyer, Candid was on the cutting edge of releasing jazz and blues music from Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Cecil Taylor, Abbey Lincoln, Lightnin’ Hopkins and more. The label’s catalog is extensive and, due to the resurgence of vinyl and interest in jazz, Candid has chosen to re-issue albums from their golden era which took place primarily in 1961 and 1962.

Max Roach’s “We Insist!,” Max Roach – 1961

An avant-garde masterpiece, a vocal-instrumental suite, a work of collective improvisation, directly addressing the racial and political issues of its day, “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite” is one of the most important artistic statements of the Civil Rights Movement and one of the most groundbreaking jazz albums of all time.—Candid

“Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus,” Charles Mingus – 1961

The combo here, referred to by Mingus as The Jazz Workshop, had been in residence at the Showplace on W. 4th St. in Greenwich Village for nearly a year when they entered the studio to record what became the album “Charels Mingus Presents Charles Mingus” in October of 1961.—Candid

“Straight Ahead,” Abbey Lincoln – 1961

Abbey Lincoln’s distinctive vocal style, thought-provoking writing, and spirited personality has secured her a place among the jazz greats. Though she made her first recording for Riverside, and later in life for Verve, it was with the young and audacious Candid Records that she made her biggest musical statement, 1961’s “Straight Ahead.”—Candid

“Lightnin’ in New York,” Lightnin’ Hopkins – 1961

Recorded November 15, 1960 at the Nola Penthouse Sound Studios in New York, “Lightnin’ In New York” captures the legendary bluesman in classic form, including some rare solos on the piano.—Candid

“Otis Spann Is the Blues,” Otis Spann – 1961

Perhaps best known for his long association with the legendary Muddy Waters, Otis Spann is largely recognized as one of the greatest blues pianists of all time.—Candid

The evolution of contemporary jazz and blues has been supported by the foundational music that, many times, has become lost in history. Candid’s decision to release groundbreaking music from the 1960s shows a revelatory grace and effort to share the music of the past with a new generation of listeners. The music of these artists should never be taken for granted but revered as historical gems where preservation becomes the main goal. The reissue of these albums will also inspire listeners to dig into the vast catalogs of these incredible artists. 

Candid has given jazz and blues lovers a gift that will in turn be passed down to the Black youth of America.

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