Harry Lim

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Although he was a lifelong fan of jazz, Harry Lim was primarily active in jazz during two different periods. He grew up in the Netherlands where he became very fond of jazz, moving to the U.S. in 1939.…
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Although he was a lifelong fan of jazz, Harry Lim was primarily active in jazz during two different periods. He grew up in the Netherlands where he became very fond of jazz, moving to the U.S. in 1939. After working as a freelance record producer, Lim was the Keystone label's jazz producer from 1943-46, putting together scores of classic sessions. The emphasis was on small-group jazz that ranged from Dixieland to bop but mostly focused on top swing all-stars. The quality of the music under Lim's guidance was very high; unfortunately, in 1946, he was replaced by John Hammond, and Keynote soon declined and became defunct. Lim had his own short-lived HL label in 1949, produced a few obscure sessions for Seeco, and tried reviving Keynote in 1955, but he ended up working at Sam Goody's New York record store from 1956-73. Lim did return to producing in 1972 when he formed the Famous Door label, a top mainstream record company that recorded a variety of valuable (but now hard-to-find) sessions by Bill Watrous, Red Norvo, Zoot Sims and others up until the producer's death. Happily, Harry Lim was still around when Polygram reissued all of the Keynote jazz sessions on a huge LP box set in 1986.