There was a time when the only possibility for an artist was to record for a major label, but nowadays things have changed. While major labels are struggling to make the money they used to do, many of them have also stopped being innovators. Instead, they churn out repackaged product and focus on new music that is guaranteed to sell. Patience and long term talent development isn't a thing that is seen very often. Fortunately, in spite of this, the music business is in a very good shape and this is mainly because of the new indie ...read more
It takes a collector to know what a collector wants. Ekkehart Fleischhammer who runs the German reissue label Sonorama has been in the record business since 2004, but he has spent far more time enjoying and searching for music. His own expertise and sense of quality is the foundation for Sonorama Records whose specialty is the forgotten gems of the past and the rare items on the collector's market. The catalog consists of true gems in many genres: hard bop, cool jazz, bossa nova, fusion, soul jazz and even a record with a harp. Not much music escapes Fleischhammer's attention ...read more
Cellar Live Records is a contemporary jazz label located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jazz saxophonist and producer Cory Weeds founded the label in 2001, one year after purchasing The Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club (later renamed Cory Weeds' Jazz Cellar). Since that time, Cellar Live Records has released over seventy albums. Performers at Cory Weeds' Jazz Cellar are some of the most important names in Canadian jazz, as well as major international artists. These include Joey DeFrancesco, Kenny Barron, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Benny Golson, to name just a few. Owing both to the visiting artists and local ...read more
Since its inception in 2007, Lyte Records has earned a reputation as one of the very best labels in Ireland/Northern Ireland for independent jazz artists and creative musicians of various stripes. What started out as a very small, personal concern for Lyte Records founder David Lyttle has grown into something much bigger; international recognition came Lyte Records' way for a jazz/hip-hop crossover album and the attention of producer Quincy Jones has changed the life of one young musician on the label in particular. It's the best of both worlds," says Lyttle. I get a real buzz out of the music ...read more
In the pantheon of American music, jazz is especially noted for its rapid and drastic evolution. Considering that jazz evolved from big bands and swing, to bebop, to free jazz within thirty years, it is a history marked by distinct stylistic eras. For some time, the trajectory and potential development of jazz has been in question. Even determining what is jazz has become difficult. However, given its history, the amount of creative talent available and the relatively recent ability to distribute to niche markets, a new direction for the music seems inevitable. Pi Recordings both documents and informs ...read more
Music Matters is pulling a fast one. For the past several years they've been hawking a series of reissues of the classic Blue Note Records catalogue of the 1950s and 60s. The defining features of this series have been that they've all been re-mastered from the original session tapes by mastering guru Kevin Gray and, in order to preserve the analog signal chain to the greatest extent possible, they've only been available on 45rpm vinyl. The fast spin ensures great sound but also ensures that the listener has to get up to flip the platter after almost every song. It's ...read more
No one is more astonished by the longevity of Mosaic Records than Michael Cuscuna, the veteran record producer and one-time disc jockey who founded the label together with Charlie Lourie, a former clarinetist who worked in both jazz and classical contexts before becoming an executive at CBS records, Blue Note, and elsewhere. Arguably the premier reissue label in jazz, Mosaic Records issued the first of its limited edition box set recordings in 1983. Originally available through mail order only--at a time when music fans bought records almost exclusively at brick-and-mortar retail shops--Mosaic is renowned for its definitive editions that bring ...read more
In the information age, as technology is transforming the way we share ideas, the creative artist seems to be in a dangerous situation. Peer-to-peer file sharing and free-streaming content are direct threats to an artists' livelihood. Combining this insight with a love for music and an appreciation for artists and the value of their work, Brian Camelio started his company, ArtistShare. After remarkable success with both its innovative model and its extraordinary roster of artists, it is celebrating its 10th anniversary by looking towards the future as it begins a partnership with Blue Note Records. A music ...read more
Mention the phrase the Norwegian sound" and many listeners will get an image in their head. An image of a natural, deep echoing sound influenced by the mountains and hills of the Norwegian landscape. Such an image is, of course, a cliché, but to some critics it has stuck and distorted the rich fertility of the Norwegian jazz scene. Just like a postcard doesn't represent the true image of a country, it would be wrong to assert that there is one type of Norwegian jazz and producer Odd Gjelsnes, who runs the Oslo-based record label Losen Records, ...read more
Any fan of the great American music that is jazz is surely aware that the art form's history depended on the convergence of geography, individual talents, and inspiration. Cities such as jny: New Orleans, jny: Kansas City, jny: Chicago, and New York are synonymous with particular styles of jazz. One often overlooked city is jny: Philadelphia, the birthplace and/or home to artists as diverse and influential as Pat Martino, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Clifford Brown, “Philly" Joe Jones, Jimmy Smith, Benny Golson, Grover Washington, Jr., John Coltrane and many more. Paying tribute to this tradition of ...read more
One of the problems with the record industry is the potential distance between label owners and artists. This is especially the case with major labels, where there are many people involved in music production who care more about sales than the vision of the artist. Then there's a label like Dot Time Records whose entire identity is built on artistic freedom and trust. This becomes clear when reading the short manifest on the label's website: Dot-Time Records is the new Jazz and World music label being launched in 2012. Dot-Time releases feature exciting virtuoso ...read more
In the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, a blue note is defined as: A microtonally lowered third, seventh, or (less commonly) fifth degree of the diatonic scale, common in blues, jazz and related musics." Moving beyond musical theory, the term is most commonly associated with the groundbreaking jazz label Blue Note, founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. The label epitomizes the golden age of modern jazz in the 50's and 60's where a perfect balance was struck between tradition, in the shape of blues and standards, and a personal expression that allowed the ...read more
Since its launch in 2010, the SmallsLIVE record label has been offering a substantial sampling of the outstanding jazz talent consistently featured at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City's Greenwich Village. Musicians who appear on the label range from the great veterans Harold Mabern and Jimmy Cobb to contemporary players at the top of their careers like Larry Goldings and Roy Hargrove, not to mention a mainstay of the Smalls scene: up-and-coming young musicians quickly making names for themselves, such as Dezron Douglas and Marcus Strickland.For Spike Wilner, Executive Producer of SmallsLIVE and the owner of Smalls ...read more
Jeff Levenson has been at the helm of Half Note Records since 2002, just a few years after it got off the ground. Through a combination of his leadership and vision and the great artistry of the musicians represented in its catalog--including McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Lee Konitz and many others--the label has clearly made its mark in jazz over the years.Founded by the Blue Note Jazz Club in 1998, Half Note Records started out by quietly releasing albums recorded live at the club and didn't really get the jazz world to sit up and take notice until ...read more
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