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BYG Actuel was a French record label specialising in free jazz. The label was founded in March 1967 by Jean Georgakarakos (usually known as "Karakos"), Jean-Luc Young and Fernand Boruso. The name of the label was formed from the initial letters of the founders' surnames. Karakos had previously established himself as a record distributor and importer, while Young worked for Barclay Records and Boruso for Saravah, the record label formed by filmmaker Claude Lelouch. The label was notable for inviting a large number of American free jazz musicians to Paris to record in the summer of 1969, a time when they were receiving little support or attention in the United States. Many of these musicians were already overseas at the time, having appeared at the Pan-African Music Festival in Algiers in July 1969.[1] (Jazz photographer Jacques Bisceglia was largely responsible for connecting the label and musicians, and the "B" in BYG is often wrongly held to refer to Bisceglia.) The resulting albums are an important repository of free jazz recordings from the period.

BYG Actuel was also responsible for organising the Actuel festival, which took place in late October 1969 in the small Belgian town of Amougies. The festival was initially intended to take place in or near Paris, but was banned by the French authorities. It featured many leading exponents of free jazz and progressive rock, e.g. Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, Soft Machine, Ten Years After, Yes and The Nice. The festival was a popular success, with around 20,000 visitors over the space of five nights, but it was a financial failure. In July 1970, Georgakarakos organised the Popanalia festival at Biot on the French Riviera, but this was also financially unsuccessful. By 1972, financial problems had plagued BYG to the point where it virtually went underground. Georgakarakos and Young later formed their own record labels, Celluloid (Georgakarakos) and Charly (Young). In 2002 a compilation album featuring the best of the label, JazzActuel: a collection of avant garde/free jazz/psychedelia from the BYG/Actuel catalogue of 1969–1971, was released by Charly (as a 3CD set) and Get Back Records of Italy (as a 6LP set). The collection was curated by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and journalist Byron Coley.[2]

Discography

y

Catalog Number Artist Album

529301

Cherry, Don

Mu - First Part

529302

Art Ensemble Of Chicago

A Jackson in Your House

529303

Murray, Sunny

Hommage To Africa

529304

Shepp, Archie

Yasmina, a Black Woman

529305

Allen, Daevid

Magick Brother

529306

Jones, Arthur

Africanasia

529307

Puig, Michel

Stigmates

529308

Greene, Burton

Aquariana

529309

Lyons, Jimmy

Other Afternoons

529310

Jack, Alan

Bluesy Mind [NEVER ISSUED]

529311

Shepp, Archie

Poem for Malcolm

529312

Silva, Alan

Luna Surface

529313

Bley, Paul

Ramblin'

529314

Acting Trio

Acting Trio

529315

Braxton, Anthony

B-Xo/N-0-1-4-7a

529316

Cyrille, Andrew

What About?

529317

Kuhn, Joachim

Sounds Of Feelings

529318

Shepp, Archie

Blasé

529319

Coursil, Jacques

Way Ahead

529320

Burrell, Dave

Echo

529321

Moncur, Grachan

New Africa

529322

Terroade, Kenneth

Love Rejoice

529323

Thornton, Clifford

Ketchaoua

529324

Ame Son

Catalyse

529325

Freedom

Freedom At Last

529326

Musica Elettronica Viva

Sound Pool, The

529327

Marietan, Pierre & Terry Riley

Germ-Keyboard Study 2

529328

Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Message to Our Folks

529329

Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Reese and the Smooth Ones

529330

Burrell, Dave

La Vie de Bohème

529331

Cherry, Don

Mu - Second Part

529332

Murray, Sunny

(Never Give A Sucker) An Even Break

529333

Moncur, Grachan

Aco Dei De Madrugada

529334

Redman, Dewey

Tarik

529335

Musica Elettronica Viva

Leave The City

529336

Wright, Frank

One For John

529337

Sharrock, Sonny

Monkey-Pockie-Boo

529338

Shepp, Archie

And The Full Moon Ensemble Live In Antibes Vol. 1

529339

Shepp, Archie

And The Full Moon Ensemble Live In Antibes Vol. 2

529340

Sun Ra

Solar-Myth Approach, The Vol. 2

529341

Sun Ra

Solar-Myth Approach, The Vol. 1

529342-4

Silva, Alan

And The Celestrial Communications Orchestra (3-Lp)

529345

Allen, Daevid

Banana Moon

529346

Kuhn, Joachim

Paris Is Wonderful

529347

Braxton, Anthony

This Time

529348

Murray, Sunny

Sunshine

529349

Coursil, Jacques

Black Suite

529350

Jones, Arthur

Scorpio

529351

Shepp, Archie

Live at the Pan-African Festival

529352

Lacy, Steve

Moon

529353

Gong

Camembert Electrique

See also

References

  1. ^ Bridge across the cliff. Village Voice, 18 July 2000.
  2. ^ Downbeat, June 2002.
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