House artist Marshall Jefferson broke the news an Instagram post today, saying the label executive had died of heart failure. The label later confirmed in a Facebook post, adding that details on a memorial were still up in the air.
Sherman started Trax in Chicago in 1983. It would become one of the most important dance music labels of all time, helping to define house music as well as acid house with records from Phuture (“Acid Tracks), Jamie Principle & Frankie Knuckles (“Your Love”), Adonis (“No Way Back”), Larry Heard (“Can You Feel It?”) and Jefferson (“Move Your Body”), among many others.
His legacy in his music is a complicated one. As 5 Magazine outlines, the label was known for bad-quality vinyl pressings, as well as not signing proper contracts with artists and allegedly not paying out royalties.
Trax continues operations to this day, now run by Rachel Cain, AKA producer Screamin Rachael. Sherman is survived by his daughter and widow.