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Gerry Teekens: At the Helm Of Criss Cross Jazz

By Published: October 29, 2005

AAJ: When I've talked with fans of the Criss Cross label, they speak of a real identity in terms of the cover graphics and sound quality. Was that something you conciously set out to do while building your catalog?

GT: I believe in consistency. When I give a musician his first date, I record him again, also as a sideman. It doesn't make sense to do just one date, I like to see them develop. The same applies for the recording engineer and the studio. Once you have a sound you like, you shouldn't change.

AAJ: Most of your catalog is currently available. Do you still get demand for even the older titles?

GT: Indeed, most of the catalog is still available and even the older titles still sell. This artform, in my opinion, is not depending on trends. Great music is and will be great forever. As for me, I still listen to Johnny Hodges and Don Byas too.

AAJ: Do your discs sell better in the United States or in Europe and Asia?

GT: It depends, because every country has its preferences. European musicians sell better here, but in Japan they like piano trios.

AAJ: How hard is it to market your discs in the United States when you have limited resources in terms of publicity, etc.?

GT: The States are indeed difficult for a non-U.S. label, not withstanding the fact that I have great American musicians.

AAJ: Compared to other small independent labels, you seem to have developed a large catalog with an ambitious number of releases coming out each year. Furthermore, while many small labels have come and gone, you're still out there doing it. To what do you attribute your success?

GT: I'm still here, because I go for this music!

Visit Criss Cross Jazz on the web.

Recent Criss Cross Releases

Conrad Herwig, Obligation (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Grant Stewart, Grant Stewart+4 (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Alex Sipiagin, Returning (Criss Cross, 2005)
Brian Lynch Latin Jazz Sextet, Conclave (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Herlin Riley, Cream of the Crescent (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Adam Rogers, Apparitions (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Peter Beets New York Trio, Page Three (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Walt Weiskopf/Andy Fusco, Tea for Two (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Jonathan Kreisberg Trio, New for Now (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Edward Simon, Simplicitas (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Reeds and Deeds, Wailin' (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Orrin Evans, Easy Now (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
John Swana and The Philadelphians, Philly Gumbo, Vol. 2 (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
David Binney, Bastion of Sanity (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
George Colligan Trio, Past-Present-Future (Criss Cross Jazz, 2005)
Wycliffe Gordon and The Garden City Gospel Choir, In the Cross (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Conrad Herwig/Brian Lynch, Que Viva Coltrane (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Ralph Peterson, The Fo'tet Augmented (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
One for All, Blueslike (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Alex Sipiagin Sextet, Equilibrium (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Jim Rotondi Quintet, New Vistas (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Mel Rhyne Trio, Tomorrow, Yesterday, Today (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Steve Davis, Meant to Be (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
David Kikoski Trio, Details (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Walt Weiskopf Sextet, Sight to Sound (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Ralph Bowen Quintet, Keep the Change (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Jonathan Kreisberg Trio, Nine Stories Wide (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Jimmy Greene Quartet, Forever (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
Joe Magnarelli/John Swana, New York-Philly Junction (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)
David Hazeltine Trio, Close to You (Criss Cross Jazz, 2004)

All Criss Cross reviews at AAJ.

Related Articles
A Fireside Chat with Gerry Teekens
Record Label Profile: Criss Cross Records

Photo Credit
Gildas Bocle

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