Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A Cool Indie Record Company Marks 35 Years: Chesky Records Celebrates with Jazz, Classical, Folk, Pop Collection


The best indie record company is right here in New York, thriving after 35 years. Next Friday brothers David and Norman Chesky will celebrate with the release of a best-of collection, their greatest hits.

David is an accomplished composer, performer, and producer with a wide following. Norman is the entrepreneurial brother who also runs, the best source of high end audiophile downloads on the web. They’re a powerhouse duo and did it all themselves, I might add. They’re very cool guys, too, almost like their own Steely Dan.

Congrats to the Cheskys! Here’s what they just sent me:

Right from the start Chesky Records had a sound. David Chesky set out to make “aural photographs” of each session, capturing as much of the sound of being there as the technology allowed, continually pushing it forward. Every note of every session was recorded “live,” there were no overdubs, no fixing it in the mix. What went down at the session, with some of the world’s greatest musicians, was in the CD, LP, or later on, high-resolution digital download.

Chesky mostly recorded in great sounding acoustic spaces, namely churches and concert halls, with the earliest sessions conducted in the legendary, and sorely missed, RCA/BMG studios in midtown Manhattan.

Every session presented unique challenges, but David Chesky and his engineers, first Bob Katz, then, Barry Wolifson, and for the last decade or so, Nicholas Prout, continued to advance the state of the recording art. We hope you enjoy the music as much as we did recording it! – Steve Guttenburg

We’re celebrating our 35th Anniversary by presenting you with a collection of some of our favorite and most influential tracks, complete with an in depth look at our record-making history. The collection features a selection of tracks from some of the world class musicians that we have had the privilege of working with over the past 35 years such as John and Bucky Pizzarelli, McCoy Tyner, Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, David Johansen, Amber Rubarth, Livingston Taylor, Astor Piazzolla, Babatunde Olatunji, Ana Caram, Macy Gray, Casey Abrams, Luiz Bonfa, and more! The included digital (printable) booklet features photos, first hand accounts from David Chesky and Bob Katz, and interviews conducted by Steve Guttenburg with Bob Katz, Barry Wolifson, and Nick Prout. Not only that, but when purchased on HDtracks, this collection comes with an additional 13 tracks. And of course, like all Chesky Records releases, every track in this collection features the crystal clear sound quality that you’ve enjoyed over the years. We’ve included the highest resolution available of each track, whether that’s 192 kHz, 96 kHz, 48 kHz, or 41.1 kHz, for your listening pleasure. Come reminisce with us and listen to The Chesky 35th Anniversary Collection today!

Track Listing


1. Pick Yourself Up and Start All Over Again – Johnny Frigo & Bucky Pizzarelli

2. Ow – Clark Terry

3. Maracangalha – Chuck Mangione

4. Superette – Phil Woods

5. My Romance – The McCoy Tyner Quartet

6. The Peanut Vendor – Paquito D’Rivera

7. I Had the Craziest Dream – Jimmy Cobb

8. Bahia Com H – Ron Carter & Rosa Passos

9. Sicilian Walk – Oregon

10. Emily – Monty Alexander

11. Gabriela’s Song – Caminho De Casa


12. Well, I’ve Been to Memphis – David Johansen & The Harry Smiths

13. In My Time of Dying – CC Coletti

14. Up the Line – John Hammond

15. Mama, Let Me Lay It On You – Cephas & Wiggins

16. Nightbird – Natasha


17. Hold On – Amber Rubarth

18. Down by the Riverside – Noah Wall

19. Isn’t She Lovely – Livingston Taylor

20. Mr. Bojangles – John McEuen


21. No 3, Ragtime – Stravinsky

22. Laudate Dominum – Westminster Choir

23. Dance of the Fish That Live in the Trees – David Chesky

24. Little Village – Orquesta Nova

25. Concerto in E Major, ‘La Primavera’ (Spring) RV 269, Allegro – Vivaldi

26. Muerte Del Angel – Astor Piazzolla

World Music

27. Sare Tete Wa – Babatunde Olatunji

28. Elube Chango – The Conga Kings

29. Bate-Coxa – Badi Assad

30. Home – Priya Darshini

31. Silk Road – I Ching


32. You Haven’t Done Nothin’ – Jen Chapin

33. My Blue Heaven – John Pizzarelli

34. If You Close That Door – Sara K.

35. Meditation – Ana Caram

36. Spanish Harlem – Rebecca Pidgeon

37. Redemption Song – Macy Gray

38. Got to Get You Into My Life – Christy Baron

39. La Flor – Marta Gomez

40. Eight Days a Week – The Persuasions

41. Round Midnight – Kenny Rankin

42. Baby Talk – Dave’s True Story

43. Alfie – Valerie Joyce


Bonus Tracks (HDtracks Download Only)

44. Alfie – Manha de Carnaval – Leny Andrade

45. How Deep is the Ocean – Lee Konitz

46. Caribbean Sunrise – Mongo Santamaria

47. Milestones – Fred Hersch Trio

48. Sex Machine – Coryell, Bailey, & White

49. On Green Dolphin Street – Jones, McBride, & Cobb

50. Congo Blues – Red Rodney

51. Footprints – Jon Faddis

52. La Llave – Xiomara

53. Everything is Broken – Memphis in Manhattan

54. Quiet Desperation – David Chesky

55. I’ve Got the World on a String – Casey Abrams

56. Samba De Orfeo – Luiz Bonfa

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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