Xanadu Records

This isn’t an introduction to collecting jazz records on vinyl. Rather, a call to attention on an overlooked record label. It’s easy to thumb past a Xanadu record. Recognized by their unassuming black & white photography framed in silver or gold (depending on the age of the recording). Xanadu was founded by Don Schlitten in 1975. Schlitten is the master of many recordings, and author to most of the liner notes. Likely not in a plastic cover and typically at a $5.99 price point. A steal for the quality of mastering which goes into the records.

The gold series catalog consists of unearthed master tapes, unique sessions or notable musicians who were overlooked by the larger record labels at the time. Quite fitting for a record labele that is also overlooked. Whereas the silver series feature modern musicians and showcases talented jazz artists from the 70s despite the genre falling out of fashion. These artists likely would have gone unheard to you and I had Xanadu not given them a platform. Great stuff in here too, the silver series albums from Dolo Coker and others. I tend to view the gold series as a living historical documentation of the genre. My own audible archive of a historical jazz period.

As the quality of vinyl records was continuing to depreciate in the 70s with anticipations of competing formats, Xanadu is a rare exception. These records are almost always in immaculate condition, likely a testament to type of listener still buying jazz records in the 70s. Reading the liner notes, I also always find the source of the master tapes on some of the gold series to be quite clever. To put it another way, I view these records akin to Mosaic records, on a shoestring budget.