Record Label: Columbia
In 1958, after a string of critically acclaimed and successful albums, Miles Davis was searching for a new direction to take the music, and signs were pointing him off the chordal highway into a new jazz style: modal. His innovations would open up the world for improvisers. He recruited key players with the potential to solidify his new approach, forming his famed sextet with rising jazz giants John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans & Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. Miles hired the little-known Evans because he needed a pianist who was into the modal thing. Davis and Evans both had developed personal voices characterized by a melodic flow that suggested, rather than defined, musical structure. It was his relationship with Evans that created the spark that resulted in the album Kind of Blue.
In only two impromptu sessions in March and April of 1959, Davis’ sextet created a tour de force; five original tunes built on simple scales. Davis is committed to getting something spontaneous out of his musicians. The entire album was composed as a series of modal sketches and was conceived only hours before the recording dates. The outcome? Pure inspiration, and the stuff of legend, an album made up of the first full take of each tune, captured at the historic Columbia 30th Street Studio. The album was originally released on Columbia Records in 1959, stunning the jazz world by practically creating a new language of music. Its influence goes far beyond jazz. Kind of Blue is universally considered to be one of the best albums of all time, of any genre. More than fifty years later, Kind of Blue, the epitome of spontaneous invention, is still the best selling jazz album ever.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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Fat Beats offers internship opportunities. You must be enrolled in college and reside in the Los Angeles area to be eligible for our programs. If you meet these requirements, please paste your cover letter below and we will contact you if there are open positions available.
We are currently offering an internship program that offers an educational experience in all facets of our distribution operation. The intern would have the ability to assist in each of the following departments:
Online Retail / Marketing
Shipping & Receiving
- Enrollment in an accredited college/university that offers an internship program for academic credit
- Knowledge and passion in independent music and culture; with a specific interest in the artists/releases that Fat Beats supports
- Familiarity with Microsoft Office applications
- Positive attitude - no task should be considered too small
- Must be located in the greater Los Angeles area
Resumes/Cover Letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org