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Sam Records (Record Label)

Sam Records is an non-profit independent jazz label based in Paris, France and founded in 2011 by Fred Thomas.

This non-profit label is devoted to reissuing jazz records recorded and produced in France during the 50’s and 60’s.

Fred's two great interests are jazz music and photography. In 2006 he got to know the American musician Nathan Davis personally and made a decision : He would re-release a recording by Davis from 1965 in the best possible quality available. The search for the copyright owner of the cover photo led him to Jean-Pierre Leloir, a legendary photographer who had captured on film what went on music-wise in Paris over many years. He was to be able to find who had the master tape, then have an agreement with the owner and then produced his very first LP reissue.

Five years later, he decided to found Sam Records. He didn’t know the music industry, but it was clear for him to try to do the best reissues possible – find the master tapes and the (original) photography.

While so many labels confine themselves to re-mastering digital versions (read: CDs) and reproducing the original artwork by simply scanning the cover, Sam Records uses only master tapes and re-creates record covers using the original photographs, paintings and/or drawings. That generally involves some painstaking detective work, so it’s a job for conscientious professionals, not corner-cutting amateurs.