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Bernard Brightman, 82; Jazz Fan, Collector Founded Stash Records

November 25, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Bernard Brightman, 82, a jazz fan and record collector who built a successful record company by compiling songs about sex and drugs, died Nov. 9 of lung cancer at a hospital in New York City.

Brightman's label, Stash Records, began releasing recordings in the mid-1970s. His first album, "Reefer Songs," a compilation of jazz and blues tunes from the 1920s and 1930s, was released in 1976. The success of that album led to a follow-up called "Copulatin' Blues," devoted to songs about sex. Other like-themed compilations followed.

Stash also remained a source of archival material, including some previously unissued recordings by jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.

In 1994, one of Brightman's other labels, Daybreak, released a recording of President Bill Clinton playing the saxophone with a six-piece jazz combo on a visit to Prague.

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