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  • Ace is 40!

    25th June 2015

    It was 40 years ago this September, give or take, that the team behind Ace Records first made a record. We have been going in and out of style ever since and hopefully over the years have contributed in some measure to the business of human happiness.


    28th July 2015

    The 28th edition of the Porretta Soul Festival was no less essential than the previous 27. Il nostro uomo sul posto, Tony Rounce, dice tutto...

  • Ace Records History Part 3

    13th January 2016


    1987 was the transformative year for the label as we started to take on the rest of the Fantasy catalogue: Stax and the Creedence Clearwater Revival albums; then, in 1988, Prestige, Riverside, Milestone and all the other jazz Fantasy had tucked away. Pablo was added in 1989 and this all culminated in all the jazz labels being housed under the OJC umbrella in 1992. More of this later, but it had a big impact on what we were doing and even in the new Harlesden premises we were rapidly running out of space so we bought two adjoining buildings to expand the warehouse.

    We also started two new labels to accommodate very different styles of music.

    Initially BGP stood for Baz [Fe Jazz], Gilles [Peterson] Productions. The label was aimed at a different dance floor from the one that the Northern soul of Kent records was being played on. Named Rare Groove back then, though it went through a number of name changes, including Wah Wah Jazz. The first BGP release was a Mongo Santamaria compilation, the ideal Latin/jazz mix for the times. Right through its life the vast majority of BGP releases were drawn from the Fantasy jazz labels..

    BLUE HORIZON was producer Mike Vernon’s label. It started in 1965 with a Hubert Sumlin outing and eventually mixed US-licensed material with recordings by Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Duster Bennett as well as US bluesmen like Otis Span and Eddie Boyd.

    The early recordings ended up in the maw of CBS Records but Mike retained the label name. So, together, we resurrected it and as expected he brought us impeccably produced recordings by Blues And Trouble and Louisiana’s Lazy Lester and over the next nine years a series of mainly local blues and R&B artists. Mike also features in the Ace story as producer and later member of Rocky Sharpe and the Replays. A real gent to do business with.

    We gradually eased into the deal with Fantasy, initially taking in the Stax catalogue and then Creedence Clearwater Revival. Our contact was their overseas licensing person, the highly knowledgeable Bill Belmont. He brought the labels to us piecemeal. At the start we weren’t sure we could handle such huge catalogues, so easing into them was actually a blessing. 

  • Porretta Soul at 30

    2nd August 2017

    An Appreciation From Your Long Time Travelling Correspondent…

    There was discussion among the British contingent that founder and director Graziano Uliani might choose to call time on his long-running Porretta Soul Festival when he reached 30 editions.  Having brought so many soul legends to town over the past four decades, and faced with an ever-shrinking pool of veteran talent to choose from, one couldn’t blame him if he did.  But Graziano gave more than an inkling that there would be another next year, at a delightful post-Festival concert in nearby Vergato on Monday evening, and  the Festival’s bandleader/musical director Anthony Paule confirmed to me on Tuesday morning that Graziano has re-engaged the services of his Soul Orchestra for next year. I’ve therefore taken it as read that I could be confident in rebooking my hotel for Porretta Soul 2018.

  • Rick Hall

    3rd January 2018

    It’s always sad to hear of the death of anyone whose music has been such a huge part of one’s life. 

    2018 has begun with the loss of Rick Hall, founder of Florence, Alabama Music Enterprises  - or FAME, as it’s known throughout the world. Ace has represented the Fame catalogue exclusively for many years, and is proud to do so to this day. It goes without saying that we are all greatly saddened that the gregarious and immensely likeable Mr. Hall will no longer be sitting in his big chair in his office above his studios, running his company in a hands-on capacity.  He may have been getting up there in years, but Rick had the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age. Although nobody and nothing lasts forever, you always felt Rick had a better chance than most of making that happen.