Jazztropic

Why do so many people hate Lonehill and other imports?

73 posts in this topic

Yet it does raise the point - how many small American labels are going to have the incentive to reissue this stuff legitimately if the market's already been met by the thieves? I mean, yeah, we all say that we'll buy this stuff now and then buy it again when a legit version comes out, and we often/usually do. But for the cats on the business end, how do they know that we'll be willing to pay the price they need to get to keep afloat when we've already bought it for cheap from the pirates? I mean, is that Don Fagerquist side so badass that we'll buy it twice simply out of moral compunction?

Look - almost all (all?) of Lonehill's studio material is booted off of a legit source. If it's expensive and/or difficult to come by, better to get a burn off of somebody, keep it to yourself, and then buy it for the first time when it gets a legitimate, accesible reissue. Somebody will get around to it eventually if they think that there's a market for it that they can hit. All Lonehill, et al do is reduce the chances that that market will seem viable.

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Yet it does raise the point - how many small American labels are going to have the incentive to reissue this stuff legitimately if the market's already been met by the thieves? I mean, yeah, we all say that we'll buy this stuff now and then buy it again when a legit version comes out, and we often/usually do. But for the cats on the business end, how do they know that we'll be willing to pay the price they need to get to keep afloat when we've already bought it for cheap from the pirates? I mean, is that Don Fagerquist side so badass that we'll buy it twice simply out of moral compunction?

Look - almost all (all?) of Lonehill's studio material is booted off of a legit source. If it's expensive and/or difficult to come by, better to get a burn off of somebody, keep it to yourself, and then buy it for the first time when it gets a legitimate, accesible reissue. Somebody will get around to it eventually if they think that there's a market for it that they can hit. All Lonehill, et al do is reduce the chances that that market will seem viable.

Agreed. But there's a bit of the ol' chicken-egg paradox thing going on as well. It's great when some small label legitimately releases some long-lost album by some relatively obscure jazz musician, hoping that they might be able to sell a thousand copies or two. Boo on the pirates then. But if no one is willing to risk a legit release - and let's face it, cost is a prohibative factor when it comes to these obscure releases, especially domestically - what then? Is it then acceptable for Lonehill (or whomever) to release something "illegitimately?"

My point above, even though I botched the example, is when is it okay (or is it never?) for the preservation of an artist's musical heritage to trump financial considerations? Now I don't for a minute believe that Lonehill is doing this out of any sense of altruism, but there's nevertheless something admirable out of a label keeping an artist's work in print who might otherwise be forgotten to history because of limited commercial prospects.

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...there's nevertheless something admirable out of a label keeping an artist's work in print who might otherwise be forgotten to history because of limited commercial prospects.

That would be Classics...

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Maybe Lonehill can put out "Don Fagerquist Plays For Lovers" with some computer virus software. Cover art to follow.

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...when is it okay (or is it never?) for the preservation of an artist's musical heritage to trump financial considerations?...

preservation of an artist's musical heritage? that sounds like without the lonehills of the world, this music will be lost forever. that isn't the case. it continues to exist. it's just difficult to access it. let's face it - some of us believe we have a right to own this music, whether it's by legal means or not.

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...when is it okay (or is it never?) for the preservation of an artist's musical heritage to trump financial considerations?...

preservation of an artist's musical heritage? that sounds like without the lonehills of the world, this music will be lost forever. that isn't the case. it continues to exist. it's just difficult to access it. let's face it - some of us believe we have a right to own this music, whether it's by legal means or not.

If you can't get it from iTunes or from some torrent, it's as good as lost forever for 95% of the population. I think that ought to concern people who want the public's understanding of "jazz" to stand for more than Wynton, Miles Davis, Norah Jones and maybe some Monk/Coltrane thrown in for good measure. There are a lot of facets to this issue, but yes, fundamentally those of us who argue against copyright extensions believe that the public does have some right in being able to access the music in a convenient form -- and that PD recordings are a legitimate way to do that if the majors won't release the material.

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It's easy to look at this only from the perspective of the copyright owner. But: We in Germany say that property comes with an obligation, in this case the obligation to keep this music accesible, in a form sounding as close to the original as possible (this is aimed at MP3's, which are unacceptable to me for sound reasons).

As far as I see it, the attitude of today's major labels to make as much profit as possible combined with their specific manufacturing processes that allow a profit only beyond 10.000 or I don't know how many copies, simply because they are so big, makes for a situation where they don't have an economic motovation to do it. That a profit can be made out of these vintage recordings under the proper conditions, is demonstrated by LonHill et al. every day. There should be a way. I wouldn't mind downloading the albums and the cover art and liner notes to burn and print them myself, if it's done with a serious attitude, e.g. including alternate takes etc. But it should be kept availbale in some form.

Edited by mikeweil

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I should add that the lack of a personal relationship with jazz (or any other type of music appreciated only by a minority) among the staff of the majors is another very important factor.

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That a profit can be made out of these vintage recordings under the proper conditions, is demonstrated by LonHill et al. every day.

Well, yeah. If I steal your car, repaint it, and then resell it, I going to make a real good profit.

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As for the "majors", here's how I look at it. They are indeed in the business of turning a nice profit. But he music we're talking about is even more of a niche market today than it was in its time. Forget about "young people" making Kenny Dorham their next cult hero. Ain't gonna happen. It's 2006. Fifty years ago was 1956. I was 21 in 1976, and 50 years ago from then was 1926. A lot happens in 50 years.

Anyway...

Yes, there is a "profit" to be made, but it's not a big one by any standard. I do think that the majors ought to be more open to leasing their material out (and they seem to be becoming so), but nobody's going to get rich reissuing this type stuff. The numbers just ain't there, save for the odd "blockbuster" here and there. A major label would be crazy not to lease out their more niche material to anybody who wants to target that niche. A parked car gets no mileage.

But here's the thing about Lonehill - they don't lease. They steal. And Public Domain? Hey - that's 50 years in Europe, and Lonehill is issuing plenty of things that were released less than 50 years ago. And as noted above, they lie about their product - "complete" sometimes isn't, "new" material never is, and "their" mastering is always somebody else's.

This ain't preserving a legacy. This is selling smack to junkies.

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If it's so illegal, why don't they sue them? Are the costs too high compared to the license fee they can get out of it, or is it they just don't care?

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Probably some of both. Besides, who owns Bethlehem, Mode, etc, these days? Not a deep-pockets mega-corporation, I don't think. But the Argo stuff they're releasing, that's raising my eyebrows. Universal is multi-national, and they could come after them, I'd think. Same with the Sony/Columbia stuff.

Hey - I deal with thieves in some form or fashion almost every day. That's life. But there's "honorable" thieves and then there's the kind that I don't want anything to do with, just because. Everybody's got to make their own call as to which is which, but Lonehill/Gambit/et. al. are firmly in the latter category for me. No humilty, no discretion, no class, no real sense of a deeper understanding, just gluttony and garishness. Not my kind of folk.

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The thread is getting too long to read through, so this might have been already answered. A couple of days ago I received a catalogue with a LONG list of Lonehill releases. I didn't order any (brownie points, though I was mightily tempted by the Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Complete Quintets 2 CD set). However, I did order a CD on another label which I now fear may be a Lonehill clone. Can we get a listing of these labels that do this kind of thing? (I don't want to list the CD and the label I ordered yet just in case it's OK).

Edited by John Tapscott

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OK, the EU copyright laws are one thing, one thing which many people on this board have understandable objections to, but if Lonehill even flouts the laws of their own country, then there's absolutely no excuse for them in my opinion.

I don't own any of their discs and don't plan to.

It doesn't help that Lonehill is part-owned by Dick Cheney.

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I bought one Lonehill disc early on, a Rusty Bryant thing. Given their marketing angle of "For Professional Collectors", I was expecting some good discographical information, and an informative liner essay. I got neither. The discography was bare-boned basic, and the essay was a generic, if competently written, career overview that shed no illumination whatsoever on the particular music at hand. I can usually tell a con job when I see one, and this one was definitely a con job.

But the cover photo sure was colorful!

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I agree on the crappy quality of their reissues. I bought only one so far - Jon Hendricks' "A Goog Git Together", as I was looking for that one as long as I collect jazz - and was disappointed by the design, and most importantly, the sound quality. Dubbed from LP and amateurishly treated with some de-clicker. I would buy only something if the chances I might get it otherwise are approaching zero.

Still I question the unwillingness of EMI or so to sue them on one hand, and to do it themselves or lease them on the other - but, as Mighty Quinn et al. show us, something's happenin' in that respect, and I'd prefer a properly licensed issue any time, as little money I have for CDs.

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Still I question the unwillingness of EMI or so to sue them on one hand, and to do it themselves or lease them on the other - but, as Mighty Quinn et al. show us, something's happenin' in that respect, and I'd prefer a properly licensed issue any time, as little money I have for CDs.

So Mighty Quinn are "good guys?" I hope that's what you're saying, because the CD I ordered was Pepper Adams' "Critics' Choice" on MQ.

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Yeah, Mighty Quinn is totally legit.

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Well, I think we should start a thread with a black list (LoneHill etc.), a white list (Mighty Quinn, Water etc.) and a grey list (European copyright applied), with a short explanation.

........ it still would leave the decision in the buyer's conscience ........

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Well, I think we should start a thread with a black list (LoneHill etc.), a white list (Mighty Quinn, Water etc.) and a grey list (European copyright applied), with a short explanation.

........ it still would leave the decision in the buyer's conscience ........

My God !

What are they talking about !

We came back to the prohibition with black list, and perhaps the MCCarty of jazz waouh....

I am going to hear Herb Geller in Laura (John Graas on Lonehill, shut up, don't tell anyone anything).

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I agree on the crappy quality of their reissues. I bought only one so far - Jon Hendricks' "A Goog Git Together", as I was looking for that one as long as I collect jazz - and was disappointed by the design, and most importantly, the sound quality.

My only Lonehill as well, and I agree. Not only that, there was one track from the LP omitted ("everything started in the house of the lord").

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I agree on the crappy quality of their reissues. I bought only one so far - Jon Hendricks' "A Goog Git Together", as I was looking for that one as long as I collect jazz - and was disappointed by the design, and most importantly, the sound quality.

My only Lonehill as well, and I agree. Not only that, there was one track from the LP omitted ("everything started in the house of the lord").

But we'll all commit a sin if it's something we really want.....

Is it any different to swapping CDr's?

Well they are doing it for profit

Most of us who CDR something obscure for another board member profit in return, by a CDR of something back

Isn't copying a CD for profit illegal?

This ain't preserving a legacy. This is selling smack to junkies.

Jim

Aren't we all jazz junkies here...... :g

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I'm with Allen's original post here. If I can get some stuff I've never heard before out on CD when god knows when it will be I'll take it. I've got a few of their discs and pretty happy with them.

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Well...I was able to get an Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis session from Lonehill that I had never seen anywhere else...in cases like that my scruples go out the door for the music.

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let's face it - some of us believe we have a right to own this music, whether it's by legal means or not.

I think that's stretching the whole "pursuit of happiness" thing just a bit. ;)

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