Fontana Marte Röling Series

[Text by Clifford Allen]
In 1966, producer Alan Bates spearheaded a series of avant-garde jazz releases for the Fontana label (both Dutch and UK imprints), now prized by collectors not only for the fact that they document crucial years in the music (1962-66), but for their beautiful and unique color lithography by Dutch pop artist and lithographer Marte Röling. Röling's covers are fanciful renditions of the artists' heads, filled with whimsical cutaways showing the machinations of the jazzman's mind (Tchicai's, on Mohawk, includes group protests and a saxophone; Marion brown has numerals and valves). The lithographs themselves were culled from photographs of the artists by Guy Kopelowicz, Ray Ross and others. The sessions' origins are quite varied; live concerts make up a few of the dates, others were culled from the artists' own tapes. Two sessions are reissues of material originally released on Riverside in the US (George Russell's The Outer View and Rod Levitt's Dynamic Sound Patterns). Though the original series was short-lived, reissues have been produced in Japan, as well as collected on the Arista-Freedom and Black Lion labels - albeit with different cover art.

Any further input, especially from Ms. Röling, would be greatly appreciated.

At least three UK editions are without Röling's cover art. The remaining UK pressings do have Röling artwork. Communication, Mohawk, Rufus, and Jazz Realities have been confirmed as having both black-label English editions and blue-label Dutch pressings.

ZL catalogue extension = mono; ZY = stereo

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Click here for the complete discography page with information.

New York Art Quartet
681 009
New York Contemporary Five
681 013
Ted Curson
Tears for Dolphy
688 310 ZL
Dollar Brand
Anatomy of a South African Village
688 314
Paul Bley
688 608
Cecil Taylor
The Beautiful One Has Come

688 609
Rod Levitt
Dynamic Sound Patterns
688 706
Carla Bley
Jazz Realities
881 010
Jazz Composers Orchestra
881 011
Marion Brown
Juba Lee
881 012
John Tchicai/Archie Shepp
881 014
Ted Curson
883 910
Paul Bley
883 911
Dewey Redman
Look to the Black Star
888 311
George Russell
The Outer View
888 705
Albert Ayler
688 608

This list is maintained by Andrey Henkin. Please send comments, corrections or additions to ahenkin@amscan.org.