Always in Trouble by Jason Weiss
An Oral History of ESP-Disk', the Most Outrageous Record Label in America (Music/Interview)

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In 1964, Bernard Stollman launched the independent record label ESP-Disk’ in New York City to document the free jazz movement there. A bare-bones enterprise, ESP was in the right place at the right time, producing albums by artists like Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and Sun Ra, as well as folk-rock bands like the Fugs and Pearls Before Swine. But the label quickly ran into difficulties and, due to the politically subversive nature of some productions and sloppy business practices, it folded in 1974. Always in Trouble tells the story of ESP-Disk’ through a multitude of voices—first Stollman’s, as he recounts the improbable life of the label, and then the voices of many of the artists involved.

About Jason Weiss

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Published May 1, 2012 by Wesleyan. 304 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Always in Trouble

One place the book does excel, though, is creating a social history of the only half-arbitrary subset of jazz musicians who recorded for ESP — what Stollman describes as “circles within circles” — where Stollman would often sign a new artist, unheard and merely on the recommendation of another si...

Aug 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Always in Trouble: An Oral Hi...