The Loud Minority: Deep & Spiritual Jazz From Mainstream Records 1970-73 Various Artists (Mainstream Records)


Spiritual Jazz
Catalogue Id:

Bob Shad was one of the quiet music men. Unlike those such as Leonard Chess, Sam Phillips and Ahmet Ertegun, he was not the sort of independent label owner about whom legends are built and films are made (which is ironic, given that his grandson is Hollywood director Judd Apatow). He got on with his job, recorded jazz, blues, soul and rock, discovered great artists such as Big Brother & The Holding Company and prised some of the best work out of Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Sarah Vaughan and others.

In 1964 he set up Mainstream Records, originally as a jazz label, to indulge his first musical love and to capitalise on the money that could be made selling albums rather than singles. By 1966, after spotting the market in album-based rock, he’d started to sign and release acid rock LPs on Mainstream, discovering the Janis Joplin-fronted Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Amboy Dukes, featuring the young Ted Nugent. But by the end of the decade Shad had become tired of the amount of money needed to break rock acts. When he re-launched Mainstream in early 1970 it was almost exclusively as a jazz label.

At that time, jazz was in a state of change and economic decline. Clubs that had provided live work for jazz artists began to close or be turned into discothèques to cater for a younger audience raised on soul music. Jazz record labels were either going bust, selling out to bigger concerns or recording the funky electric jazz that was beginning to be called fusion. By the early 70s, Mainstream was one of the few outfits left recording acoustic jazz. As such, the company’s catalogue offers an otherwise under-represented view of the jazz world.

Ace Records are proud to be able to release a series of compilations that will look at the brilliant music released on Mainstream. The psychedelic rock will be released on Big Beat, while BGP will cover the rest, starting here with “A Loud Minority”, which focuses on the deep spiritual jazz recorded by the label in the early part of the 70s.

Frank Foster’s legendary title track sets the tone with forward thinking jazz sounds and a political message. Similar lines of thinking from Harold Land – two tracks from his legendary group with Bobby Hutcherson – and Roy Haynes are also featured. We have obscure but fantastic playing from Hadley Caliman, Buddy Terry and Charles McPherson and a rare date as a leader from the excellent Johnny Coles. Legends of soul jazz appear in the form of Blue Mitchell and Mike Longo with a previously unreleased version of ‘Matrix’.

Mainstream also recorded organ funk groups – the Charles Kynards of this world – that labels such as Prestige and Blue Note were championing. By the mid-70s, even Shad had started to move away from straight jazz and back into the world of soul and R&B, an aspect of the label’s catalogue that will be explored in future compilations. In the meantime, here is “The Loud Minority”.

Blessed with unprecedented access to Mainstream’s pictorial archive, our booklets will contain an unbelievable selection of photographs of the artists.

By Dean Rudland


Track listing


Side 1

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought