CTI RECORDS

HISTORY

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.

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 BILLBOARD CHART HISTORY

Based on the year the recording peaked on the chart

YEAR ALBUMS SINGLES
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

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.

CTI RECORDS GRAMMY® NOMINEES AND WINNERS

YEAR CATEGORY TITLE ARTIST WON
1966 Best Instrumental Jazz Perf.
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)
Wes Montgomery  
1968 Best Instrumental Jazz Perf. Large
Group or Soloist with Large Group
Down Here on the Ground Wes Montgomery  
1969 Best Instrumental Jazz Perf. 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 Perf.
Large Group or Soloist with
Large Group
Gula Matari Quincy Jones Yes

SOURCE:
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

CTI RECORDS ARTIST ROSTER

A - H I - P Q - Z
Nat Adderley
Richard Barbary
George Benson
Artie Butler
Paul Desmond
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Quincy Jones
Tamiko Jones
Hubert Laws
Herbie Mann
Wes Montgomery
Milton Nascimento
Soul Flutes
Tamba 4
Kai Winding

CTI RECORDS ADVERTISING & MARKETING

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
Pete Turner
Rudy Van Gelder
GEMM

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