Prestige's Bob Weinstock dead at 77

Jan. 17, 2006 at 5:18 PM

BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Jazz recording pioneer Bob Weinstock has died in a Boca Raton, Fla., hospice at age 77.

The Deerfield Beach, Fla., resident died Saturday from complications of diabetes, the New York Times reported.

Weinstock founded the independent Prestige label in 1949 and released several early influential jazz recordings. He flooded the market with recordings by the Modern Jazz Quartet and the Miles Davis Quintet as well as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy, Gene Ammons, Red Garland, Coleman Hawkins and Annie Ross, among others.

He started a jazz record retail business as a New York teen and made his first recordings at age 20 with Lennie Tristano's quintet, releasing them on a label that he called New Jazz.

He started Prestige less than a year later.

Weinstock could not read music or play an instrument and did all his recording and production by ear, the Times said.

He sold Prestige to Fantasy Records in 1972 and moved to Florida. Fantasy was bought by the Concord Music Group in 2004.

Weinstock is survived by his companion, Roberta Ross, two sons and three grandchildren.

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