smalls records albums

Feature Albums

Meditations On The War For Whose Great God Is The Most High You Are God

Meditations On The War For Whose Great God Is The Most High You Are God | The Fat Cat Big Band

The Fat Cat Big Band ay free and mix it up. On two tracks, Synstelien hints at one of the most original new vocal styles to come in years, and gives us a glimpse at a future star.

Travelin' Alone

Travelin' Alone | Yaala Ballin

Yaala Ballin A classic vocal recording done the hard way, without isolation or vocal retakes: Only a singer with Yaala Ballin's talent can pull this off in front of a hard core group like this.

Off Minor

Off Minor | Zaid Nasser

Zaid Nasser One of the most vital young saxophonists alive today: worth catching every note.

Dances With Bulls

Dances With Bulls | Teddy Charles

Teddy Charles The great jazz legend, pioneer of bop and avant garde jazz alike, returns to the international scene to record his first studio album in 40 years. One of the strongest records to come out this year


One | Stacy Dillard

Stacy Dillard The label-debut of one of the most promising saxophonists in the world today.


Made in New York

Made in New York | Across 7 Street

The first major appearances on record of New Bop pioneers saxophonist Chris Byars, pianist Sacha Perry, and bassist Ari Roland, three NY musical prodigies who grew up in the NY jazz underground. This recording opened up a major new book of original compositions, known for a slightly dark sound with rich multihued harmonies. More music than most people were prepared for when it first came out.

Recognition: #1 CD of 2004 – "Jazz Times"

The Ancient Art Of Giving

The Ancient Art Of Giving | Omer Avital

The Omer Avital Quintet captured in 2005 at the Fat Cat jazz club in New York premiering works by Avital. Tight, high-energy performances from top players Mark Turner, Ali Jackson, Aaron Goldberg, and Avishai Cohen.

Recognition: Rising Star Bassist - "DownBeat" Critics Poll 2007

Asking No Permission

Asking No Permission | The Omer Avital Group

The first volume of the seminal recordings of modern bass giant Omer Avital. The Omer Avital Sextet of the mid 1990s was legendary, one of the few groups to ever lay claim to the New Thing. It was thought that no recordings of this group existed, but Smalls Records had an archive of 20 hours of prime material. This is the first incarnation of the breakout group, fresh, and in its prime. All the members of the group are stars today, and this is the music that made people sit up and take notice.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2006 – Online magazine "Slate" & Top Ten of 2006 – "Mercury News"
Omer Avital: Rising Star Bassist / DownBeat Critics Poll 2007

Room To Grow

Room To Grow | Omer Avital Group

The second volume of the legendary Omer Avital Sextet recordings. Shows a variety of influences from Middle Eastern, African, European, and Jazz music. This time out, the band uses elaborate short-choruses and instrumental chorales to set up the soloist, each of who takes time to develop from a simple motif into a screaming climax. For all that energy, the band remains tight and focused, which makes it really pack a punch from beginning to end.

Recognition: Rising Star Bassist - "DownBeat" Critics Poll 2007, Best Ten of 2007 " The Village Voice", Best Ten of 2007 " All About Jazz", Best Ten of 2007 " Coda Magazine"


Travels | Adam Birnbaum

Adam Birnbaum is a gifted young pianist who has made quite an impact recently. Already he travels the world with diverse groups of musicians and is making his mark. His piano technique is refined and clear, and on his debut record, he leads an outstanding band with some of New York's best and brightest musicians.

Jazz Pictures At An Exhibition of Himalayan Art

Jazz Pictures At An Exhibition of Himalayan Art | Chris Byars

The Chris Byars group performs compositions dedicated to the theme of Buddhist art, and features sophisticated new compositions and arrangements. Also features bassist Ari Roland.

Night Owls

The Night Owls Chris Byars Octet

Drawing together the best ensemble players in New York today, the Chris Byars Octet plays all out and packs a punch. Byars might be the best young arranger in the business. Hip originals mix with quicksilver renditions of standards. The blowing is first rate. The performances all have a raw imtationacy.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2004 – "The Star-Ledger"

Photos In Black, White And Gray

Photos In Black, White And Gray | Chris Byars

Chris Byars is one of the smartest musicians alive, and he can also swing like mad. He unleashes a continuous stream of ideas that makes most musicians look like school kids. You don’t have to know everything to enjoy it. But after a hundred listenings, you will still be going back to it.

Chris Byars: American Music Abroad Program / US Dept of State 2007, Recognition: 2008 Best 10 of 2007 - " The Village Voice", 2007 Honarable Mention- Editor's choise

Backstabber's Ball

Backstabber's Ball | Neal Caine

Bassist Neal Caine made a big splash with this debut. Critics hailed it as the new jazz sound and it deserves the praise. Caine’s bigger-than-life sized sound on bass is organic, with great momentum and drive. The record is like an extended work, with haunting melodies and creative interludes.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2005 – "Coda Magazine", Top Ten of 2005 – "Jazz Times Magazine", & 2005's Best and Brightest Albums – "The Riverfront Times"

Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never | Gil Coggins

Gil Coggins, as Frank Hewitt used to say, was the best ballad player there ever was. He’s on several of the classic Miles Davis ballads, and he played and recorded with Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean. You can hear his uncanny grasp of what is pretty, like perhaps nobody else except Miles. Dark beauty pervades. Louis Hayes knows where Coggins wants to go, and knows how to make the trip even more interesting.

Recognition: Best Ten of 2007– " The News and Observer".

Land of Dreams

Land of Dreams | Charles Davis

Charles Davis has been a part of almost every major musical development in jazz from the 1950s on. By 1964 he topped the Downbeat Critics Poll for baritone saxophone. Bop, avant-garde, post-Coltrane styles are all his stock and trade. Recording with his working band really shows what the music is like when everybody knows each other and can really get down to it.

Recognition: Best Ten of 2007 – "The Newwark Star-Ledger"

The Darkling Thrush

The Darkling Thrush | Sasha Dobson with The Chris Byars Octet

The breakout recording for one of today’s singing stars, Sasha Dobson. The greatest jazz octet in the world plays incredible original charts on great standards. A candid record by an authentic jazz vocal talent, and full of life! The performances were recorded direct to two-track with no overdubs for a raw, powerful sound.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2004 – "The Star-Ledger"

The Flows

The Flows | Ned Goold

Saxophonist Ned Goold recorded more than 23 of his live shows on national tour, and put the most select performances on this CD. Brilliant and unusual tunes rendered in an original style. The performances are the best of the best. A real collector’s item.

March Of The Malcontents

March Of The Malcontents | Ned Goold

Ned Goold takes his quartet on a journey through quirky new compositions in Goold’s inimitable style. Half of this album is straight-ahead with post-Dolphy sensibilities and a kind of dark character never heard before. The other half is 'slow swing' where Ned takes his time to develop an idea and somehow swings hard while playing on a long meter. Once you know what he’s doing, there’s nothing like it.


Splitlife | Gilad Hekselman

The debut album of Guitarist Hekselman. He is one of today’s fastest rising stars. Here he is captured for his debut recording after winning the Gibson Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in 2005. His sensitive touch, utmost finesse, and crystalline sound are second to none. The band with drummer Ari Hoenig and bassist Joe Martin sounds fluid and elastic. They move through rhythms and moods, sometimes in rapid succession, as they build to a climax in this Live recording. ” Also check his second album (his first studio recording ) released by Sister label, LateSet Records."

Out Of The Clear Black Sky

Out Of The Clear Black Sky | Frank Hewitt

The next volume of legendary Frank Hewitt recordings featuring the classic trio recorded live at Smalls.

Fresh From The Cooler

Fresh From The Cooler | Frank Hewitt

The first recordings of Frank Hewitt, captured during an afternoon at Smalls during non-business hours. Here he is at the peak of his powers, turning in performance after performance of brilliant music with his working trio.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2006 - "Jazz Times Magazine"

Not Afraid To Live

Not Afraid To Live | Frank Hewitt

The last recording session of the legendary Frank Hewitt, includes grand master Louis Hayes on drums. Hewitt is consistently brilliant on all his recordings, and this is no exception. A very energetic, charged ensemble.

We Loved You

We Loved You | Frank Hewitt

The posthumous debut of pianist Frank Hewitt, who emerged as a surprise from the NY jazz underground after the overturning of the Race Laws* in 1988. He ended up rewriting a part of modern jazz piano history. Some of the most beautiful interpretations ever on ballads.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2004 – By three critics of "Cadence Magazine"

* Race Laws (Cabaret Laws): From 1926 until 1988, New York City required clubs and musicians to obtain licenses that were very few. During these years, most Jazz men who did not have licenses had to stay underground. A consequence of this law is that it promoted racial segregation.

Four Hundred Saturdays

Four Hundred Saturdays | Frank Hewitt Quintet

Frank Hewitt’s legendary quintet performed for eight years straight every Saturday night at the original Smalls. A powerful group with two great saxophonists in a driving performance, and Hewitt on fire. The packed audience shouts encouragement. All this at 4am.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2005 – "Coda Magazine" & Top Ten of 2005 – "Jazz Times Magazine"

The Painter

The Painter | Ari Hoenig

The debut recording of one of today’s jazz stars, drummer Ari Hoenig. Hoenig has complete facility on the drums, even to the point of being able to tap out any melody in tune. His supple and fluid style is extraordinarily articulate and highly engaging, and it moves soloists and listeners alike. Here he presents original compositions with the breakout band that first laid down the new style.

Recognition: Top Five Favorites of 2004 – "Fanfare Magazine" & Top Ten of 2004 – "Voice of America"

For Medicinal Purposes Only!

For Medicinal Purposes Only! | Ruslan Khain

Russian-born bassist Ruslan Khain has a powerful sound, and since his arrival in New York ten years ago, he has become increasingly noticed. He was one of the few bassists to appear in Frank Hewitt's trio and quintet, and he handles even the most difficult material with ease. On his debut recording, he shows us a book full of original hard bop compositions and proves he is also a great composer. With Smalls Records star Chris Byars on saxophone and flute, and Japanese great Yoshiro Okazaki on trumpet, the Band is solid, smart, and swinging.

Introducing Omer Klein

Introducing Omer Klein | Omer Klein

The most exciting new voice on piano from the Israel-New York connection, features the great Omer Avital on bass.


Continuum | Eric McPherson

One of the greatest black drummers of our day, played with Jackie McLean and Andrew Hill for fifteen years.

The Evening Sound

The Evening Sound | Neal Miner

Bassist Neal Miner got a beautiful sound from his sextet, playing his original compositions and arrangements. Warm and appealing new songs, impeccably performed.

Recognition: Best Debut – "The New Jersey Star-Ledger"

Need For Peace

Need For Peace | Fabio Morgera

Trumpeter Fabio Morgera made this record as a labor of love, and it shows a range of moods, including three great vocalists. A good warm-hearted recording.

Escape From New York

Escape From New York | Zaid Nasser

Zaid Nasser, son of bass legend Jamil Nasser, has been a legend of his own on the NY underground for several years. We haven’t had an alto player this good in the NY underground style since the late Clarence "C" Sharpe. This debut record is ten years overdue. Here’s another record you can love right away, and be even more amazed a hundred listenings later.

Recognition: Best Debut of 2007- “ The Newark Star-Ledger” , Best Debut of 2007-” The Village Voice ”, Best Ten of 2007 – "Coda Magazine", Best Ten of 2007 – "” All About Jazz",2007 Honorable Mention, Editors’ Choice、Best 10 of ” Dusted Features Magazine ”

The Third Time Around

The Third Time Around | Sacha Perry

New bop pianist Sacha Perry returns for the third time with an album of beautiful piano jazz


Eretik | Sacha Perry Trio

Sacha Perry’s long-awaited debut recording was called one of the best debuts by any jazz pianist in recent memory at the time it was released. It opened the book on a stunning corpus of sophisticated and intriguing original compositions with rich harmonies developed over a period of several years, but never before presented on record. Bassist Ari Roland seizes on Perry’s every move.

Recognition: Top Ten of 2005 – "Jazz Times Magazine"

Not Brand X

Not Brand X | Sacha Perry

Sacha has a rare gift for interpreting standards. The way he orchestrates a tune and voices each chord on the piano shows deep feeling and is truly hip - as in clued-in to something that most people don’t know – poetry musical. A painting with rich colors, never trite.

Recognition: Best Ten of 2007– "Jazz Times Magazine"

And So I Lived in Old New York…

And So I Lived in Old New York… | Ari Roland

Fresh off his world tour for the US Dept of State as Jazz Ambassador, Ari Roland put this new record down. More mind-bending tunes help make the New Bop movement the fresh and exciting sound that it is. Killing solos from Chris Byars.

Ari Roland, Chris Byars: American Music Abroad Program / US Dept of State 2007, 2008

Recognition: Best Ten of 2007 – "Jazz Times Magazine"

Sketches From A Bassist's Album

Sketches From A Bassist's Album | Ari Roland

Bassist Ari Roland made an impact with this debut record, and it announced the arrival of a major bass talent, and a composer of extraordinary sophistication. The swinging opener "The Lion Of Yerevan" is one of the defining compositions of the New Bop repertoire.

Ari Roland : American Music Abroad Program / US Dept of State 2007, 2008

Listeing In The Dark With Frank Senior

Listeing In The Dark With Frank Senior | Frank Senior

Blind from birth, singer Frank Senior has been well known around New York for many years, but never caught on record until now. A singer with deep soul, impeccable phrasing and delivery, and a voice that stands with the great jazz giants in history, Frank Senior will prove to be a shock to many who thought that the era of the great singers was over.

Sketch Of Tel Aviv

Sketch Of Tel Aviv | Third World Love

This group of Israeli virtuosi plays a brand of jazz that stands on its own, and this album found widespread acclaim and fondness from listeners. The emphasis on rhythm and the extended soli are a trademark of Middle-Eastern music, but also a trademark of extended rock jams, which might explain its big appeal. This grew out of one of Omer Avital’s projects, but since has enjoyed a life of its own.

One Who Sees All Things

One Who Sees All Things | Harry Whitaker

For many years, this important jazz recording made by Harry Whitaker in1981-82 was only rumored to exist, and was only recently unearthed and released for the very first time. It features Whitaker displaying the best of the composer's craft as well as the producer's hand. It is a powerful recording with a lush, layered sound and skillfully crafted arrangements. It also brings in an all-star band including Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Rene McLean, John Stubblefield, and the Hino brothers, Terumasa Hino and the late Motohiko Hino.

Thoughts (Past and Present)

Thoughts (Past and Present) | Harry Whitaker

Harry Whitaker has won gold records and composed + arranged for many famous singers. He has a knack for creating bigger-than-life music, whether in jazz, funk, soul, gospel, or R&B — he can carry them all. Musicians have been after us for years to make this record; the first time Harry’s led a group playing just his tunes. This is a powerful and often moving record with relatively simple melodies that will appeal to many tastes. Like-minded Omer Avital contributes knockout bass, and Dan Aran lays down a rhythmic tapestry that gives the music just the right emphasis for impact.

The Phoenix

The Phoenix | The William Ash Trio

Debut recording of one of the greatest guitar talents of our time. Guitar prodigy William Ash grew up on the NY jazz underground, and by age 16, he was featured with jazz legend Clarence "C" Sharpe. He’s an extraordinary instrumentalist for whom it seems nothing that can be played on guitar is out of reach. Swinging trio work and very appealing originals