is a label by - and for - people who love fine jazz and blues
and who appreciate excellence in recorded sound.
Wildchild!, our other label, serves listeners who love
roots-based American music, raw and exciting, full of the life
that commercial studios can't capture.
World-class musicians, some
famous, some unknown, record for us. They are honored guests
at our studio, an historic, secluded plantation house with warm,
natural acoustics. In this creative and unpressured atmosphere,
freed of time limits, our artists are inspired to play with
more innovation and fire.
Our recording technology is equally radical.
We design and build, or custom-modify, all of our electronics
from microphones to tape recorders to wires. All must meet standards
well beyond commercial state-of-the-art. We record live to two-track
analog, transfer to digital at a rate 100 times faster than
the CD standard, and use no add-on EQ, reverb or noise reduction
electronics. Our recordings are made with only 2 to 4 microphones
and no cables longer than 20 feet. The resulting sound has startling,
"in-the-room" clarity, brilliance, spaciousness and dynamics.
People with $150 boomboxes, as well as audiophiles with $100,000
systems, tell us our CDs convey far more of the music's excitement
than any commercial studio recordings. Mapleshade has 40 current
releases and many more in the can waiting to be released. These
albums document the music of more than 175 musicians including
both noteworthy new talents and established artists such as
Randy Weston, David Murray, Woody Shaw,
Gary Bartz, Larry Willis, Hamiet Bluiett,
John Hicks, Clifford Jordan, Walter Davis Jr.,
Leon Thomas, Drink Small, Sunnyland Slim,
Slide Hampton, and Shirley Horn.
Because Mapleshade approaches
the recording of music in such a radically different way, the
media have given us quite a bit of coverage. McNeil-Lehrer did
a 15 minute arts special on Mapleshade; NPR and FM stations
across the country have done interview segments. A dozen feature
articles on the studio have appeared in major music, audio and
audiophile magazines. Our releases are reviewed regularly in
major mainstream music magazines, including Playboy,
Downbeat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and CMJ,
as well as leading audiophile journals such as Stereophile,
FI, and The Absolute Sound.