Music for the Inquiring Mind and the Passionate Heart: Leo Records is a small independent company producing highly original, innovative, improvisation-based new music; music that refuses to be submitted to the market forces, that goes against the grain of current wisdoms; music that asks questions, provokes debate, generates ideas. This is music that matters. Although the catalogue of Leo Records includes composers and musicians from all over the world, the origin of the musicians is not so important. What matters is the originality of the music.
The catalogue of Leo Records is over 900 CDs. The stalwarts of the label are Ivo Perelman, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, John Wolf Brennan, Eugene Chadbourne, Marilyn Crispell, The Ganelin Trio, Joëlle Léandre, Joe and Mat Maneri, Simon Nabatov, Sainkho Namchylak, Lauren Newton, Evan Parker, Ned Rothenberg, Tibor Szemző, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Reggie Workman, etc. Leo Records accommodate “established” musicians and veterans of new music, while Leo Lab is devoted to more experimental music and younger talents.
Leo Records was formed in 1979 and since then has become “one of the most significant independent labels of recent times…” (page 799, THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD, LP & CASSETTE, by Richard Cook & Brian Morton).
It has almost “singlehandedly established the parameters of our understanding of new Russian jazz and improvisation.” (page 1191, ibid).
“Without Leo Records, our perception of the international scope of improvised music would be vastly different.”; (Coda Magazine).