Enja was founded in 1971 in Munich by Matthias Winckelmann and Horst Weber . Weber and Winckelmann founded their label with borrowed money and were able to record Waldron in the Domicile and sell the licenses to Japan. Albert Mangelsdorff , Attila Zoller and the Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino are among the label's early artists . Initially, the intention was to concentrate on the new European jazz (Enja stands for E uropean N ew Ja zz ). But soon production was much wider. For example, the label bosses “discovered” John Scofield (who, however, switched to a larger label with increasing success) and soon included other American musicians such as Chet Baker , Freddie Hubbard , Dizzy Gillespie and Gene Ammons in the catalog . These recordings were partially released for North America under license by Inner City Records or Naxos . They also added archive material, for example from Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus .
In the 1970s they had success with Chet Baker and Abdullah Ibrahim , in the 1980s especially with the oud player Rabih Abou-Khalil . In 1986 the two label founders decided to separate their businesses. They shared the catalog (which then comprised around 350 titles and currently (2012) around 800) and founded two independent subsidiary labels, both of which still exist today. Winckelmann's Enja branch publishes around 15 titles a year; it has also opened up further in the direction of world jazz and has expanded to include the classic label Marsyas and the booking agency Enja Booking . Horst Weber's branch was taken over by Werner Aldinger and the yellowbird sub-label was added . Several productions have been awarded the German Record Critics' Prize, including albums by Jun Miyake , Elliott Sharp , Aki Takase , Paul Brody , Archie Shepp , Mal Waldron and Roman Bunka . In addition, albums from the catalog of Echo Jazz were awarded, most recently Anna-Lena Schnabel for her debut album Books, Bottles & Bamboo .
- Richard Cook: Jazz Encyclopedia. Penguin, London 2007, ISBN 978-0-141-02646-6 .
- Jürgen Wölfer: Lexicon of Jazz. 2nd Edition. Hannibal, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85445-164-4 .
- Enja Records (Winckelmann)
- Enja / yellowbird (Aldinger)
- Enja Marsyas (classic label)
- 40 years Enja (jazzthing)
- Rolf Thomas: Enja: Thirty years of service in jazz. Interview with Matthias Winckelmann in Jazzthetik , November 1st, 2001.
- K. Härtel 40 years of Enja. Jazzthetik 11/12 2011: 60f.