ESP-DISK’ opened for business in New York City in 1966 on the 12th floor of 156 5th Avenue. During its first 18 months, 45 albums were recorded and released, featuring previously unknown free improvisational artists. The only exceptions were Ornette Coleman and Paul Bley, both of whom had gained global recognition during the 1950's. Artists who made their debuts as leaders on ESP included Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Gato Barbieri, Bob James, Marion Brown, Roswell Rudd, Burton Greene, Patty Waters, Henry Grimes, Charles Tyler, Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Sonny Simmons, Ronnie Boykins and Frank Wright. Several of these artists were then quickly sought out and recorded by the Impulse and Columbia labels. ESP had signed no term agreements with its artists, anticipating that this might happen, and that they would then enjoy promotional support from these large companies.