Under the leadership of Bob Thiele, who took over from Taylor during the label’s first year, Impulse! would be a beacon and a bellwether, through the 1960s and into the late ‘70s. As Ashley Kahn put it in his 2006 book The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records: “The label’s devotion to the mostly African-American, mostly avant-garde players collectively responsible for the last significant leap forward in modern jazz — the point where most jazz histories and timelines tend to end — stands today as one of its most important accomplishments.”
That devotion, which now also extends to present-day Impulse! artists like the Black British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, will take center stage in a celebration of the label’s 60th anniversary — spanning new releases as well as deluxe reissue packages and strategic partnerships.