STRATA – DETROIT: Give a helping hand – 10 days to go

Strata Records owner Barbara Cox will lose her home and unreleased Strata master tapes with it, if she doesn’t pay $6700 in real estate taxes by January 20th.

Barbara Cox - Strata East (1978)

Barbara Cox – Strata East (1978)

“I am writing you to ask for your help, urgently, with something that is very important to me. As many of you know, I recently started a record label ( that is gradually releasing the entire catalog of Strata Records, a Jazz label, broadly speaking, founded in Detroit in the late 60s, and active through the 70s. This catalog contains many (mostly, in fact) unreleased gems. And the few titles that were originally released were not done so in great quantity or quality, due to lack of funds. My mission is to give this great music the meticulous and respectful treatment it deserves.

This journey began when I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Cox, the woman who owns Strata records, and the widow of its founder, Kenny Cox, in her home in Detroit in 2011. She agreed to give me the exclusive rights to release the Strata catalog. But now, sadly, Barbara is in imminent danger of losing her home (and unreleased Strata catalog master tapes, which she still owns, with it) if she doesn’t come up with $6700 in real estate taxes by January 20th. She’s 75 years old and living on Social Security. If she loses her house it would be not only a personal tragedy for her, but a great loss for music and the cultural history of Black America.

Strata - kenny_cox_2_1024x1024

Strata was much more than a record label. It was a grassroots culture and education collective in Detroit that has a rich legacy. Artists like Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Weather Report and Chick Corea, all worked with Strata in some capacity. For more information on Strata see

Strata 2013-03-22_at_5.24.47_PM_2_1024x1024I have released three Strata titles on my label so far. But the money I have been able to raise from that for Barbara is not sufficient to cover these expenses. So I am reaching out to you, my friends, fellow lovers of Jazz, record collectors, musicians, djs, and good people in general who I hope can help me to help a friend in need, and preserve important music and history at the same time.

All money raised will go to Barbara Cox. Any amount over the goal of $6700 will be used to protect her (and the Strata masters) from this happening again in the future. Please give whatever you can afford. No amount is too small (or too big!). Please also help out by spreading this however you can.”

Thank you!

Amir Abdullah


Strata - SamSandersBlackVinyl-Front_large

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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2 Responses to STRATA – DETROIT: Give a helping hand – 10 days to go

  1. Mark Turner says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for calling attention to this situation. Just to clarify, though, Strata-East, the NYC-based label started by Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell, is not affiliated with the Strata label from Detroit, as far as I know. Both catalogs are well worth preserving, though. Cheers, Mark

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