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Jim West: 40 Years and Going Strong at Justin Time Records

Jim West: 40 Years and Going Strong at Justin Time Records

Courtesy Justin Time Records

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Each one of those recordings is like a child. It's like one of your own kids. I think of it that way in my mind. And you think about the approach and what was done and you care for that record afterward...
—Jim West, Justin Time Records
Owner of Canada's Justin Time Records, the multi-award-winning Jim West, has brought stellar top performers from the Canadian music scene and the USA to the global stage since 1983 for almost half a century, and that's some heavyweight "cred."

To celebrate, the label has crafted a compilation, 40 Years of Justin Time Records (Justin Time, 2023), featuring forty essential listens from Justin Time Records Inc.'s tracks from the years of its diverse history and the label's current star Canadian and American artists.

Justin Time Records became a hub home to many exciting and elite performers including the late legendary pianist and eight-time Grammy winner Oscar Peterson, multi-award Grammy, JUNO winner and best-selling jazz pianist/vocalist Diana Krall, prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award winner and accomplished Order of Canada member, vocalist Ranee Lee, multi-JUNO Award-winning composer Christine Jensen, the multi-award-winning Dr. Trevor W. Payne, CM, Director of the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, and lists of other shining bright stars like Kenny Wheeler, Sonny Greenwich, Paul Bley, Kenny Werner, John Stetch, Carol Welsman, Brandi Disterheft, Lorraine Klaasen, David Murray, Halie Loren, and many more Canadian and internationally known artists.

All About Jazz: Jim it is a pleasure to meet you to chat and catch up on your news. And what a phenomenal career you have had. Let's focus on where it started first.

It is common knowledge Oliver Jones and his swinging piano sounds helped spark Justin Time Records in the beginning in Montreal. How did "Blues for Helene," become your first track for your special 40th Anniversary Collection Justin Time Records compilation?

Jim West: There were so many originals to choose from. I wanted something that Oliver wrote that was bluesy, and swings, and we have it all in that tune. Being the first artist signed to the label he deserves the first spot.

I got started with recording the Oliver Jones trio, and then, subsequently, Oliver would recommend somebody and say, "You know, there is this great, great vocalist, by the name of Ranee Lee." Then Oliver of course, played organ in the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir which was founded and directed by Trevor Payne. I did a deal with Trevor and we recorded 10 or 12 albums... It was great.

AAJ: Those are fantastic artist choices, who was your favorite mentor initially?

JW: I would have to say that it was Matthias Winckelmann (1941-2022) owner of Enja Records from Munich, Germany, who passed on recently. If my memory serves me right, we met in 1984-85 and it was Matthias who helped launch the careers of a number of the artists on our label through a reciprocal licensing deal we had. One of those [as I had mentioned] was the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir founded and directed by Dr. Trevor W. Payne. We ended up doing three tours of Europe with a group of 50+ singers. That was quite the undertaking.

AAJ: That sounds transcendental, and Enja has been strong—you and Winckelmann must have bounced ideas off one another as you produced those talented artists. Justin Time Records started after being inspired in Montreal by the celebrated jazz legend, pianist, and composer/arranger Oliver Jones. Forty years ago, Canada's treasured pianist-composer Oliver Jones was chosen to perform on the first inaugural Justin Time Records release with you. Can you tell us about the history?

JW: The first show as a producer that I saw was the Oliver Jones trio playing this little club in Montreal called Biddle's Jazz and Ribs. And the house was packed, it was a wonderful thing to see. Everyone enjoyed the show and they were all different age groups, I might add. Because of that, I said, "This is great, we should make a record out of this."

I began my career in the '70s as a roadie for Mahogany Rush. So I had this other experience that led me to say, "Well, you know, it can't be that difficult making a record." (Laughs.) Little did I know.

I started in the distribution business because I had a distributor in Montreal that closed their doors, and they asked me to stay on to close them down officially. And when I did, my severance pay was records, LPs, record racks, etc. So I set up a warehouse and started distributing records.

AAJ: As we discuss Justin Time Records' anniversary and the accompanying release, everyone wants to know a little about your secret. Somehow, despite being in the smaller and ever-changing Canadian music market, you have released over 600 albums and kept it going for over four decades. Did Matthias and other mentors or colleagues inspire you and pass along wisdom and was your work largely self-driven or did you enjoy collaborating often with others?

JW: It's a big world out there and you need to market your productions not just within Canada but in other major music markets around the globe: Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, and others. Our productions were often self-driven, but we almost always had a consensus around the table before proceeding. Often, we knew the audience would be limited, but if this was an important artist in our community we would charge ahead.

AAJ: So you fly out to the studios and you oversee things—is that basically what you do?

JW: It depends on what the session is. When I recorded someone like Oscar Peterson and Dave Young, I was not going to say a word. You know, they're two great players and what am I going to contribute?

I remember I may have mentioned this to you before. Orrin Keepnews was a producer of many of the Milestone Records recordings and he produced a lot of sessions over the years. I remember reading a quote from him, saying, "What do I do as a producer? I create a great atmosphere and let them do what they do."

And that's what I tried to do over the years. Just create an atmosphere, make it fun, make it light, and make everybody comfortable. And then they'd perform. And it was simple like that.

AAJ: All About Jazz discovered that you have been quietly involved with local Montreal charity work on your community hockey team, assisting two hospitals in fundraising for sick children. You have also won several prestigious awards, for example, the Order of Canada. Both you and Oliver Jones have been honored by the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honor to its most notably gifted citizens. Can you talk about that?

JW: Receiving the Order of Canada, was a shock, in many ways, in both shape and form. And it felt just so good, you know. It's a feeling of accomplishment, not by what you've done, but by what other people feel you've done and contributed. So that felt great to me. Many of my musician friends, like Oliver Jones, Ranee Lee, and Trevor Payne, on and on and on that I know, received the Order of Canada. And I just felt great to receive that.

AAJ: You have also won many other honors. In 2001 you were voted Producer of the Year by the National Jazz Awards. In 2004 it was the Canadian Music Week's Hall of Fame. In 2016, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented you with The Bruce Lundvall Award, an award given to a recipient in the media or music industry who has made a significant contribution to the development of jazz. In 2018 you were presented with the Canadian Independent Music Association's (CIMA) Industry Builder Award.

There were even other awards. And you have never talked much about it, but it has been extensive. Over the years, it is estimated that your artists received approximately 14 JUNO Awards and numerous nominations from their Justin Time Records releases. Which stood out to you?

JW: They all stand out—they are all special! A few years ago when they had the Jazz Report Awards, we received many of those. Another great one, of course, was the Montreal Jazz Festival. I got to receive the Bruce Lundvall Award, which was really a lot of fun. And they give it out every couple of years to somebody in the industry who has made an impact. It's usually in the course of the jazz festival. The awards all go to artists and they have this one award that goes to somebody who's contributed in another way. And that was very special to me.

I am very happy for any of our artists that have received a JUNO Award. It's a culmination of all their great work—often years of blood, sweat, and tears—and to be recognized for it amongst your peers is a wonderful feeling.

AAJ: How many projects do you take on a year and what aspects of marketing have contributed to your success?

JW: Project-wise we take on a lot fewer now than we used to. I would say 8-10 a year at this point. Tried and true touring is always an excellent way to promote oneself and of course, the latest project that is available. I think that you have to hit the basics: radio, press, basically all media and today social media is of course most important.

AAJ: What are record producers like yourself looking for when considering recording a brand new artist?

JW: You need to have the goods i.e., the talent. You need to know your audience and who you are catering to and be willing to work at fan development and all that this entails. You need to be willing to put the work in.

There's no age group per se. Probably a majority of our signings on the label were jazz folks from an older generation, not young players, but that never really entered my mind. I just look for something good, unique, and fun to do; just with some direction, some ability to take that, what we record, and market it somehow and try and figure out those things in advance and say, "What can we do with this? Even though I haven't even heard it yet? What was the deal with this group of artists? Are they playing together and touring? In a group? How many gigs do they play? Where are they?" You know that type of thing? And it just all adds up to yes or no at the very end.

What I enjoy most about working with musicians is what they come up with; the ability for them to generally work with many improvisers. If you look at the World Saxophone Quartet or David Murray, they can just latch on to it and just take something into the stratosphere. And I really enjoyed that. It's fresh, and it's new.

I enjoy the standards as well don't get me wrong, but it's really beautiful to hear something in a different approach, a different way of doing things. And I mentioned those artists because I know them fairly well. And we did probably 20 records between the World Saxophone Quartet and David Murray. They're just so good. It's just amazing to be in the studio and listening to them play. It's just extremely special. An artist like Billy Bang... we did some beautiful recordings of Billy and they are just very special.

AAJ: It's easy to feel sorry for touring artists who are traveling in a different city each day of their tour, an impossibly exhausting endeavor. Do some of your artists like to stay close to the studio without touring?

JW: I think most of them would like to tour. It isn't that easy to tour and break even these days in the jazz genre so you have to be very careful where you spend your money (perhaps an air BnB for four instead of four hotel rooms as an example).

AAJ: The market has changed as the times have changed and the recording formats have evolved, too. How have you managed to keep up with the markets and technologies over the decades as they transition, evolve, and change? Did you have an organized strategy for that, or was it intuition and self-education-derived?

JW: Well quite honestly, we never led the market in any way... I've never owned a studio. I don't want to own a studio. It's major, you have to really be in that business and do it full-time. No, I rented studios, and I did a lot of things in New York and a lot of things in Montreal, a few things in Toronto and Vancouver. So when you move [around like that], it didn't pay for me to have my own studio.

We simply followed the best we could and changed with the times.

Well, I guess it's going to sound crazy, but it was a little easier years ago, to make $1 at the business because you sold physical goods; be it an album, a cassette, or whatever. Record companies would make a little bit more money, the artists would make good money too.

Today we're dealing in the digital world. And a lot of that is micro-payments from around the world, which is still good, don't get me wrong. But there are a lot of complaints about what's paid out and what isn't. I mean, we're not going to change the world at Justin Time Records I can tell you. But there are a few major corporations that lead the way. And we just follow suit, I can't change that.

There have been some cases where the recordings were ridiculously expensive. And none of us would ever see a cent from that. We've recorded a number of records in the past where I knew we wouldn't sell more than 10 copies. To be quite honest with you, I just knew it, but certain artists had to be documented in some way, shape, or form. And I'm glad we did them.

I have a lot of great memories. Each one of those recordings is like a child. It's like one of your own kids. I think of it that way in my mind. And you think about the approach and what was done and you care for that record afterward, you want to make sure it's given its special place in the world. That's important to me. Most, I would say, 99% of the recordings we did mean something to me.

AAJ: Why did you like the idea of throwing a label celebration for your 40th-anniversary compilation?

JW: Well, we used to do launch parties years ago for an album release and we haven't done one in a while. This was a way to bring everyone together from the current roster and have a big party over five nights.

AAJ: For the 40th anniversary release, how did you choose 40 tracks from 40 artists for each out of a total of 6000+?

JW: Well yes, we did celebrate our 40th anniversary this year. And our general manager, Nancy Marley and I were thinking about what we could do to celebrate that fact. And so the first thing you can do is put a compilation together. Which we did. And that was a lot. It was a lot of work, as you're looking at 600 recordings, basically, over 6000 songs, and trying to whittle it down to 40 songs. So you have to think of it that way.

It is difficult as it has to flow, as well. You select the 40 artists and then go through their catalogue. Don't forget Oliver Jones has about 22 albums to choose from, which became a little more difficult than choosing a Diana Krall song with only one album on our label.

AAJ: Was this put together by yourself as the producer, or did you consult with anyone for feedback or thoughts?

JW: I had fun doing that and often consulted with our longtime general manager, Nancy Marley. I'm sure we missed somebody out, but I had to keep it at 40 because that was the number. And so anyway, that was done. And we went through it a few times.

A release also has to not just be 40 songs, but it has to follow suit to some degree and you can't have six up tempos in a row and five ballads all in a row. You think about what's vocal, what's non-vocal, instrumentation, big band, little band, all those different things. And so that has to come into play when you're compiling it.

That compilation recording was fun, but we also wanted to do a live component. We did and we spoke to the owner of the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal, and we said that we'd like to spread this out over five nights and do two bands per night. We did, and we had 10 groups play. And it was a great opportunity to showcase some of the newer acts that we had signed.

But we also had Oliver Jones who came and was in the audience. He's retired now. So he doesn't play anymore at all, but he was there and showed up. And Ranee Lee sang and she wouldn't get off the stage. She sang for a couple of hours straight. So it was a lot of fun. Really a lot of fun.

AAJ: You must have many interesting stories historically, as your roster of artists is extensive. Some of the favourites on your Justin Time label's 40th-anniversary release include multi-award-winning pianists like Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall, and John Stetch, who we should discuss. A jazz hero comes to mind. Many musicians refer to him as, "OP." What are your thoughts on working with the late jazz icon, pianist Oscar Peterson, and how did that originally come about?

JW: Well, it helped that Oliver Jones and Oscar Peterson were great friends, but what really sealed the deal was Dave Young asking Oscar to be on his, Piano—Bass Duets (Justin Time, 1996) recording that we were working on, which ended up being three volumes and features some of the world's greatest players. It was a highlight for me —that's for sure.

AAJ: What did you love the most about Oscar Peterson?

JW: You could learn so much from this man. I only met him a handful of times but the way he operated and the way he played was simply very special. I think of everything this man has been through since the very beginning of his career. To receive this level of international notoriety is inspiring. I'm sure he worked harder than anyone to achieve what he achieved. Simply the best.

Recording with Oscar Peterson was certainly a highlight for me. You know, the world's greatest. That was very special to me for a lot of reasons.

AAJ: The exceptional experience of working with pianist Paul Bley, what was that like?

JW: Do you have a couple of days? Paul Bley provided simply some of the most fun sessions in the studio. Yes, I do have so many stories. Suffice it to say, he was a brilliant contemporary composer with a great wit and was always challenging the norms.

And it was a lot of fun, he would make it so entertaining, and so much fun. And so off the wall, you never just could not expect what was going to happen next.

But I was always prepared for that. I knew that was going to happen. So I looked forward to whatever craziness happened that day. He was a very serious pianist, don't get me wrong. But in the time it took to record, he would be able to get everybody riled up or on edge or just having fun and making jokes. And he was spectacular, absolutely spectacular, and a lot of fun.

Of course, my first three artists, Oliver Jones, Ranee Lee, and the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, are in special places in my heart, because, obviously being the first three I've recorded so much music with them. And I still talk to them today, almost every day we speak. To me, that goes back 40 years.

AAJ: Pianist/vocalist Diana Krall is such a gifted global sensation. She has sold many millions of albums. As a producer how did you first come across her, and how has her talent impacted you after having worked with her?

JW: She was brought to my attention by Oliver Jones and then a number of phone calls from people like producers at CBC in Ottawa and some media outlets. I then met with Diana to discuss doing a project and the rest is history.

AAJ: Yes, it sure was history, Diana is such a favorite globally, those were timeless tracks.

Another pianist on your anniversary album, the multi-JUNO nominated jazz pianist and comedian, John Stetch, has made quite a stir recently with his comedic impersonations on YouTube of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Stetch's talent is among the best globally for his merging of Eastern European music with jazz. John's recent recorded work has been exceptional. What are your thoughts about Stetch's 2023 winter comedic appearance with well-known political figures like Christine Anderson, with other comedians in Ottawa??

JW: I actually was not aware of John's appearance there, but I am aware of how talented he is as a pianist. John also worked and learned from another great European pianist by the name of Jan Jarcyzk, with whom we did a couple of projects.

AAJ: There is a lot to explore at Justin Time Records. We cannot discuss the album's pianists without mentioning your label's founding first-recorded artist, Oliver Jones. You both are now Order of Canada recipients, a true honor. Speak about your relationship with Jones and how that developed into a recording and later, the awards.

JW: I was very lucky to be able to work with Oliver. I kept in touch with him after seeing him playing at Biddle's Jazz and Ribs in Montreal in 1983 and followed up by saying I wanted to start a label and make him the first signing. He thought I was kidding. Well, 22 albums and 40 years later we've toured the world together and talk almost daily. He is a great friend and a very special person.

AAJ: That sounds like a deep friendship that you will always treasure. Ranee Lee is also such a Canadian favourite, and you had mentioned that she also received the Order of Canada, too.

JW: Ranee Lee was our second artist thanks to Oliver Jones and again I was so fortunate to be able to work with her. She is also a wonderful friend and we talk very frequently. As I had mentioned, the first three artists on the label were Oliver Jones, Ranee Lee, and then Trevor Payne founder and director of the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir (again thanks to Oliver Jones). Oliver Jones was the organist for the Choir in those days. I was spoiled with those three signings.

AAJ: Definitely. Those are special artists and one could spend hours just talking about them. Yet, there are a few other artists to mention to really cover the scope of the album. In Canada, we like to brag about our John Coltrane of the jazz guitar, Sonny Greenwich, who is featured on your 40th-anniversary release. That track on the album is such a favourite track of many. Please share your thoughts about Greenwich. It has been said that he was the only Canadian musician ever invited to share the stage with the great Miles Davis, and also Wayne Shorter. Shorter and Davis were such talents to note. Your thoughts?

JW: Sonny is an immense talent—so spiritual. For me, his, Bird of Paradise (Justin Time, 1987) recording is a classic.

AAJ: Yes, it is an exciting album. His work often touches on the spiritual just like Coltrane's projects did. Greenwich was for many guitarists around the world a guitar hero. How many albums did you do with Sonny? He is such a favourite of so many.

JW: We produced two albums with him Bird of Paradise and Live at Sweet Basil (where every guitarist in NYC wanted to come and hear him play), but overall we released four—the other two being Sonny Greenwich/Paul Bley and then a Kenny Wheeler/Sonny Greenwich Quintet from the Montreal Bistro in Toronto.

And all of it's still fun. It's just that there are characters. And I had mentioned Paul Bley, he was certainly a character. I'll tell you one funny story about the guitar with Paul Bley and Sonny Greenwich.

We were in the studio and Paul was taking his time walking into the studio. He'd like to chat for quite a while first. And Sonny was there setting up his amp and getting his guitar out. And they'd got together in the room to do our first song. And Paul's ready to play and he looks over at Sonny and says, "That's not fair."

And Sonny said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "It's not fair," and Sonny couldn't figure out what he was saying to him.

He said, "I'm playing an acoustic instrument —you have to play acoustic too."

So Sonny's there with his amp and electric guitar. If you listen to that record, I'll cut to the chase very quickly. But if you listen to that record, the first three songs we recorded are his semi-acoustic electric guitar without an amp. Without an amp. We mic'ed the strings. Because Paul wanted it to be fair to him. That gives you an example of what used to take place every session.

Paul, he'd like to get everybody on edge or just to the point. I don't know how to describe it. Yeah. In his mind, it was at your best, like, get your full attention and get you going. And he managed to do that with everybody he played with. Everyone that recorded with him had some issue, something that Paul instigated. And it was funny, it was. You know, he was brilliant at that.

AAJ: Bley was such a master and Sonny Greenwich, he is such a legend, too. It seems that he was not miffed by Bley and took that unusual scenario very well and remained open minded about it. Greenwich has made so many influential albums and is such a naturally gifted talent. Numerous musicians admire Greenwich, like for example, saxophonist Mike Allen, who was learning from Greenwich at a young age on the bandstand.

But speaking about great releases, everyone has been so impressed with saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen lately, she is doing great work, her latest release, for example, sounds truly excellent, her composing never disappoints and then of course her JUNO-winning releases were stellar. She always has such beautiful harmonic and melodic ideas. How did you discover Canada's Jensen, and what led to Justin Time recording her?

JW: Christine has always been on our radar. We licensed her two earlier [JUNO winning] orchestra recordings: Habitat (Justin Time, 2013) and Treelines (Justin Time, 2010). It was Christine who suggested her latest recording entitled, Day Moon, (Justin Time, 2023) she had some great material for a quartet outing and we jumped at the chance to do this. A great artist and a great composer. She's also a prominent member of the CODE Quartet also released on Justin Time.

AAJ: It would be fun if you penned a book or your memoirs. So many people would be fascinated to read it. You could get permission from artists to discuss them and then do the writing easily by recording audio in otter.ai and then hiring an editor for it. Many people would buy that book.

JW: Ha Ha. I did ask someone in our business years ago if he was planning to write a book about all the shows he produced and the artists he had met over the years and he calmly said, "Not until everyone is dead."

AAJ: Some wonderful American musicians have been picked up by your label, from Kenny Werner and David Murray to Sheila Jordan, please share about these special artists.

JW: Yes, we have been fortunate to be able to release productions from both Kenny Werner and Sheila Jordan. In the case of David Murray, we ended up doing at least 12 full productions and he also played on some of our other recordings with artists such as Ranee Lee, by D.D. Jackson and by Jeri Brown. I think that David's body of work with Justin Time is simply sensational. It's a who's who of some of the greatest musicians around. We can't forget his work with the World Saxophone Quartet either. A sensational artist.

AAJ: Indeed this is exciting and again "timeless," Murray's work, and all of Justin Time Records' artists are worth exploring.

JW: Well I think that the 40th-anniversary compilation is a good start and certainly one can go deeper if they want to.

AAJ: There is a lot in the catalogue to explore. We have not talked yet much about the gospel music you have recorded.

How about the gospel music that you have recorded, like the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, for example? It seems that not much can compete with a gospel choir like theirs as far as an uplifting inspirational experience goes. How did you enhance the label's catalogue with gospel and blues releases? Was it personal interest?

JW: This was another suggestion by Oliver Jones when he was actually playing the organ for the choir. I loved the sound of this choir under the leadership of Trevor W. Payne. He brought this group of non-professional singers to the forefront both in North America and Europe as well. It's a traditional sound with superb arrangements by Trevor Payne. We released 11 productions over the years and did well with all of them. Their Christmas concerts were regular sellouts along with their appearances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival

AAJ: If you had your three items to complete on your unfinished bucket list, what would they be? (In no particular order.)

JW: 1. Release an Oliver Jones and Ginette Reno live recording from the Montreal Jazz Festival from 24 years ago.

2. Start a community jazz festival.

3. Digitize all the master tapes from the beginning of the label.

You know, I don't have a big list, to be honest. I think I'd like to learn how to work and study video. I don't know yet how to alter video footage and do things to it. And I would like to do that. You know, something I would like to learn is how to work a computer properly.

And if there was one artist that I can record today, I think I'd like to record Eric Clapton I don't know why. I just think his career has been great. He's covered many different genres. And that's really basically it. I don't have major aspirations. Other than that, maybe I would like to be a better hockey player. That's not going to change anytime soon. (Laughs.)

AAJ: You had said that you are releasing five to seven albums this year each with three to four singles, too. What are the next projects that are coming up for Justin Time Records, which artists do you plan on releasing next?

JW: Lex French (Trumpet) with his quartet; Christine Jensen; CODE Quartet; Simon Denizart (piano) with his quartet; Halie Loren (vocal) with a quartet/quintet; Laura Anglade (vocals) mainly with a quintet. Lots more to come with both Jean-Michel Pilc and also Matt Herskowitz. Last, but not least, Emma Frank and a new EP.

AAJ: Do you plan on slowing down anytime soon with retirement plans, or will you work for as long as you are inspired?

JW: Yes, I may step away from the label in the next little while and concentrate more on my management agency, Wild West Artist Management. I have been working closely with the Nettwerk Music Group in recent years, deferring more of the details of the industry work to them as I approach retirement.

AAJ: What is the agency up to as of late?

JW: At the moment at Wild West Artist Management we are currently working with eight artists, two of whom are retired: Oliver Jones and Trevor W. Payne, but of course, there is still work to be done for them.

AAJ: What is the best advice on reaching success that you would give our Canadian musicians here in Canada?

JW: I have no magic formula for success for any musicians, believe me. But certainly, you just have to have faith in what you do. You've got to learn your craft as best as you can. Learn from the best.

You know, it's funny, musicians will help you and the biggest names in the world will do something for you, they'll help you. Just call them, email them, or something. I'm sure they may not answer you right away. But play those shows and compose what you're composing. And get it done. Believe in your craft. And that's it. It'd be good to work with someone who is honest and straight-ahead and will guide you and help guide you because you don't have to be a master of every craft in the world. But just try and learn the ropes as best you can. That's it. I don't have any other words of wisdom, that's for sure.

AAJ: What are your parting words of wisdom to those considering joining the music industry today for the first time?

JW: It's a great industry. Learn about it. Surround yourself with good people and promote your work as much as possible. Currently, live shows and social media seem to be the best routes.

AAJ: Do you encourage Canadians to market heavily into the USA?

JW: Well if you have built your base in Canada then I would say yes proceed to the newer market.

I advise those new to the industry to get in touch with those who they feel are good mentors based on what they have achieved, by what they have seen, and get in touch with them.

AAJ: What are the best career moves that indie and new jazz recording artists should be considering in 2024 going into 2025?

JW: Play live as much as you can. Participate in social media as much as you can and try and develop a network of musician friends in various cities.

AAJ: You have added important insight, jazz stories, and valuable music industry tips today. Do you have any last thoughts to add as we wrap up?

JW: The music business is fun and very challenging at the same time. There's no problem having a job to fall back on such as teaching or playing out locally to support your greater endeavours.

AAJ: Where is the 40th anniversary Justin Time album, 40 Years of Justin Time Records, (Justin Time, 2023), available for Canadian and international listeners?

JW: The compilation is available in a digital format only—you can find it on all streaming and download platforms like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, etc. and you can find more information about the compilation and our artists and catalogue on our website Justin Time Records.

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