One of the most prominent producers in pop and jazz, Joel Dorn helmed records from some of the biggest names in music, among them Charles Mingus, Bette Midler, and the Allman Brothers Band. He began his career in 1961 as a disc jockey with Philadelphia jazz station WHAT-FM; his radio success led to a meeting with Atlantic Records founder Nesuhi Ertegun, resulting in an offer allowing Dorn to produce the artist of his choice for the company's jazz imprint. He selected flutist Hubert Laws, and the resulting LP, 1964's The Laws of Jazz, proved so successful that by 1967 Dorn was employed at Atlantic full-time as Ertegun's assistant. Working not only as a producer but also in the A&R and marketing departments, he quickly rose to the position of vice president; the records he helmed were primarily jazz and R&B efforts, informed by a pop sensibility that became his signature. Among Dorn's hits as a producer were Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Killing Me Softly; the Keith Jarrett Gary Burton album; and Midler's debut album, The Divine Miss M. He left Atlantic in 1974, going on to work with a wide range of performers including the Neville Brothers, Leon Redbone, Mink DeVille, Lou Rawls, and Asleep at the Wheel. During the mid-'80s Dorn formed Night Records, a label devoted to issuing previously unreleased live material from the likes of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Cannonball Adderley, and Les McCann; in 1995 he formed another reissue label, 32 Records. Joel Dorn died of a heart attack in New York City in December 2007 at the age of 65. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

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