Contemporary Records was started by Lester Koenig in 1951. Based in Los Angeles, Contemporary was primarily known as a jazz label that concentrated on the “cool” west coast sound. Contemporary recorded such artists as Art Pepper, Shelly Manne, Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, Curtis Counce and Leroy Vinnegar. Koenig was known for extremely high audio standards. He hired Roy DuNann from Capitol Records in 1956, who, out of the label’s shipping room turned studio, turned out some of the best sounding records of the 50’s and 60’s. Contemporary was purchased by Fantasy Records in 1984.


Jazz contemporary mono 1

Jazz contemporary mono 2

Jazz contemporary mono 3
Contemporary mono – 1st Label, mono recording, with a groove
Contemporary mono – 2nd Label
Contemporary mono – 3rd Label

Jazz contemporary stereo 1

Jazz contemporary stereo 2

Jazz contemporary stereo 3
Contemporary 1st Stereo Label
Contemporary  2nd Stereo Label
Contemporary 3rd Stereo Label, yellow words on top of the green background

Jazz contemporary stereo fantasy

Contemporary Label in 1980s, with “FANTASY INC.” at the bottom because it has become a subsidiary of Fantasy