Best Independent Record Label

Wide Hive Records

Gregory Howe knows that great things start in living rooms. After college, he moved to the Bay Area and started recording local artists in a studio out of his home. Twenty years later, his Wide Hive Records in Albany has its own fully equipped, deluxe space and has released more than thirty records featuring artists like Calvin Keys, Phil Ranelin, DJ Zeph, Azeem, and Harvey Mandel — blending jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock, and soul into complex and satisfying music. The label's latest offering is thirteen tracks from Larry Coryell, the "godfather of fusion" according to Downbeat, backed by the Wide Hive Players, Howe's in-house band. Some have called jazz-funk "jazz for the dance hall" — a lesser music form — but Howe's Wide Hive label proves them wrong: It doesn't matter if it's the dance hall or the living room, as long as the groove gets out.

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