CTI RECORDS HISTORY
Herb Alpert wanted A&M Records to have a jazz record label, specifically Creed Taylor's label. At the time, Taylor's manager was Clarence Avant. The deal was negotiated by Avant and Jerry Moss. In 1967, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss offered Creed Taylor $1 million over five years to bring his CTI Records to A&M. The manufacturing and distribution deal began in November 1967 and lasted until January 1970 when Taylor took his label independent. CTI was A&M's first affiliate and its original foray into jazz. While affiliated with A&M Records, CTI produced 28 albums and released 27 of them. The self-titled Hubert Laws album was never released on A&M, however, one of his singles was the first release by CTI records when Taylor took the label independent in 1970. The rarest CTI recording is the third album from Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson, Stonebone, released in limited quantity only in Japan.
Prior to joining, A&M, CTI was under Verve Records and Impulse Records. Artist Wes Montgomery signed with CTI when it was affiliated with Verve Records and the team of Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson were with CTI during its time at Impulse Records.
CTI operated out of New York City. A&M's Harold Childs was sent to New York to manage promotion and sales for CTI.
Artists who recorded on CTI in 1967 were Wes Montgomery, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Herbie Mann. In 1968, Nat Adderley, George Benson, Artie Butler, Paul Desmond, Tamiko Jones, Wes Montgomery, Milton Nascimento, Tamba 4, Walter Wanderley, Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson were in the studio for CTI. Quincy Jones was the only new artist in 1969.
George Benson was signed to CTI in 1968. As Benson tells the story, CTI/A&M artist Wes Montgomery told Herb Alpert that George was going to be the next great jazz guitarist and that A&M should sign him. Alpert passed the word to Creed Taylor who signed Benson to CTI.
CTI recordings were distinctive. Taylor chose to surround the artist with an orchestra. Don Sebesky created most of the arrangements for the label and every session featured some of jazz's finest players--Ron Carter appeared on nearly every recording and Herbie Hancock was frequently on piano.
Each record was packaged in a heavy cardboard gatefold cover. The cover art was instantly recognizable with an innovative Pete Turner photo framed in a white border on coated paper. The artist's name and title of the album were set in bold black Helvetica type in two lines across the top. The inside of the gatefold contained detailed session information and song notes by prominent music journalists.
A&M assigned the original CTI Records stock numbers in its SP 3000 series. CTI's original albums were SP 3001 through SP 3032, except SP 3029 and SP 3030 that were assigned A&M jazz artists. (A&M continued to use SP 3000 series for its own jazz releases through 1973. The last recording was SP 3047, the first Love, Togetherness, Devotion (L.T.D.) album.)
After CTI became independent, A&M retained control of the CTI albums recorded for it. In 1984, A&M reissued 18 titles from CTI as its Audio Master Plus (AM+) series. A&M created half-speed masters that it pressed on audiophile quality Dye Compound Vinyl; placed them in polyurethane inner sleeves, and replaced the coated gatefold covers with slick single album covers. George Benson's I Got a Woman and Some Blues album, recorded in 1969, was first released as part of the AM+ series. A&M created two commercial samplers for its AM+ series. Sampler SP 3021 included only one non-CTI track on the sampler, Gato Barbieri's "Europa" from his A&M album Fire and Passion. The original AM+ series were vinyl recordings. A few years later, A&M revived the concept of Audio Master Plus placing the logo and words on its CDs regardless of musical genre.
In 1988, A&M revisited the CTI catalog when it made 12 titles available on CD in its A&M Jazz Series (CD 0800 series). The original CDs of CTI products were packaged in trifold digipaks. These were small printings that were taken out of print quickly. The A&M Jazz Series also included recordings from A&M's main catalog and its Horizon Records jazz imprint. There were two A&M Jazz Heritage Series promotional samplers created to support this line of CDs in stores and on the radio.
In 1970, Wes Montgomery became the only artist whose CTI work was included in A&M Records' Greatest Hits series (SP 4247). It was originally converted to CD in the A&M Jazz Series in 1988. In 1996, A&M reissued the CD in the A&M Backlot Series. The disc was digitally remastered from the original tapes and included five unreleased tracks, and A&M gave it new cover art (31454 0519). As of this writing, it remains the only CTI album released by A&M in its Backlot series.
In 2000, A&M, now part of the Universal Music Group, reissued four of the CTI recordings on CD by Paul Desmond, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Quincy Jones and Tamba 4.
CTI RECORDS ARTISTS
From 1967 through 1969 CTI signed the following artists. Only Hubert Laws album was not released.
|A - H||I - P||Q - Z|
| Nat Adderley
| Antonio Carlos Jobim
| Soul Flutes |
Kai Winding & J. J. Johnson
CTI RECORDS CHARTS
BILLBOARD POP, ADULT CONTEMPORARY AND R&B CHARTS
Based on the year the recording peaked on the chart
|1967|| Wes Montgomery (Pop: 1 Top 20, 1 Top 100, R&B: 1 Top 5, 1 Top 40)
George Benson (Pop: 1 Top 5)
| Wes Montgomery (Pop: 1 Top 100, AC: 1 Top 10) |
Herbie Mann (Pop: 1 Top 100
|1968|| Wes Montgomery (Pop: 1 Top 40, R&B: 1 Top 5)
|| Wes Montgomery (Pop: 1 Top 100, AC: 2 Top 40) |
|1969|| Walter Wanderley (Pop: 1 Top 50, R&B: 1 Top 5)
George Benson (R&B: 1 Top 200)
Quincy Jones (Pop: 1 Top 100, R&B: 1 Top 30)
| Paul Desmond (AC: 1 Top 40) |
|1970|| Quincy Jones (Pop: 1 Top 100, R&B: 1 Top 20)
George Benson (Pop: 1 Top 200)
| Quincy Jones (Pop: 1 Top 100, AC: 1 Top 30) |
BILLBOARD BEST SELLING JAZZ LP CHART
|December 2, 1967||1||Day In the Life (a)||Wes Montgomery|
|March 23, 1968||3||Glory of Love (the)||Herbie Mann|
|May 23, 1968||1||Day In the Life (a)||Wes Montgomery|
|November 23, 1968||1||Down Here On the Ground||Wes Montgomery|
|Deceember 21, 1968||1||Road Song||Wes Montgomery|
|April 12, 1969||15||Shape of Things to Come (the)||George Benson|
|August 9, 1969||12||Summeritme||Paul Desmond|
|July 4, 1970||18||Other Side of Abbey Road (the)||George Benson|
|July 25, 1970||3||Walking In Space||Quincy Jones|
CTI RECORDS GALLERY
CTI RECORDS AWARDS
GRAMMY® NOMINEES AND WINNERS
|1966||Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Group or Soloist with Group||Goin' Out of My Head||Wes Montgomery||Yes|
|1966||Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist or Instrumentalist||Goin' Out of My Head||Wes Montgomery|
|1967||Best Instrumental Arrangement||Wave||Antonio Carlos Jobim|
|1968||Best Album Cover||Road Song||Wes Montgomery|
|1968|| Best Contemporary Pop |
Performance - Instrumental
|Eleanor Rigby||Wes Montgomery|
|1968||Best Instrumental Arrangement|| Scarborough Fair |
(arr. Don Sebesky)
|1968||Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Large Group or Soloist with Large Group||Down Here on the Ground||Wes Montgomery|
|1969||Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Large Group or Soloist with Large Group||Walking in Space||Quincy Jones||Yes|
|1969||Best Instrumental Arrangement||Walking in Space||Quincy Jones|
|1970||Best Instrumental Arrangement||Gula Matari||Quincy Jones|
|1970||Best Instrumental Composition||Gula Matari||Quincy Jones|
|1970|| Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Large Group or Soloist with |
|Gula Matari||Quincy Jones||Yes|
CTI RECORDS EMPLOYEES
Thank you to all of the very talented members of the CTI Records family.
If your name does not appear in the list below, please send an e-mail and let us include you in the credits. Photos for the A&M Family Photo Album are always welcome! When you write, please include the years you worked at CTI/A&M and your job title or the name of the department where you worked. This information is also used to validate your registration for our Employee Discussion areas--a forum available exclusively for A&M artists and staff.
|A - F||G - M||N - Z|
| Sam Antupits || || Creed Taylor |
Rudy Van Gelder
CTI RECORDS SOURCES
1. Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums 1955 - 1996. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc., 1996.
2. Whitburn, Joel. Top Pop Singles 1955 - 1999. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc., 2000.
3. Whitburn, Joel. Top Adult Contemporary Singles 1961 - 2001. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc., 2002.
4. Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits 1942-2004. New York: Billboard Books, 2006.
5. Whitburn, Joel. Top R&B Albums 1965-1998, Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc., 1999.
6. Clarence Avant video on Artists House Music website.
7. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences