Honest Jon’s Records

Honest Jon’s Records is a London-based record label founded by Mark Ainley and Alan Scholefield in 2002 and run in cooperation with Damon Albarn. It emerged from the 1974 by »Honest« Jon Clare founded record store of the same name in Portobello Road in the London borough Ladbrock Grove. The record store is specialized on jazz, blues, reggae, dance, soul, folk and music from the most remote countries of the world. Honest Jon’s is clearly focused on collecting records that are rare or bizarre or special or all at once. This applies to the label as well as to the record store. For the makers digging is a technique of cultural preservation. First the label attracted attention with its series »London Is The Place For Me«, a retrospective to the music of the black population of the British capital since 1945. Meanwhile they released compilations which declared the niche to be something special like Britsh folk, Soca aus Port of Spain or a documentation of the calypso songs of Jamaican immigrants from the fifties to Afro-Cuban jazz how it is played in the Bronx. They also rediscovered artist like Moondog, Maki Asakawa, Bettye Swann and Cedric Im Brooks & The Light. With Candi Staton, Actress, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Mark Ernestus, Trembling Bells, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Simone White, Shackleton, Michael Hurley, Terry Hall or the Moritz Von Oswald Trio quite a lot well-known and talented contemporary artists are signed to that label. So here it is about nothing less than the salvation of the raw quality of music.