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verve downsized

103 posts in this topic

From jazztimes news page

verve downsized

Doesn't sound too promising, though I suppose it couldn't get much worse, Verve's reissue program has been pretty moribund the last six months or so.

In a holiday shake-up, Verve Records, the renowned jazz label owned by Universal Music, has been downsized and put under the helm of Bruce Resnickoff’s Universal Music Enterprises. Over 25 percent of the label’s employees have lost their jobs; however, subsidiaries like Verve Forecast will remain untouched. Verve general manager Nate Herr will take control of label operations—including the signing of artists.

Once one of the largest jazz labels in the world, Verve still boasts a large roster that ranges from Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter to Abbey Lincoln and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The label’s recent releases have included albums by Diana Krall, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole and re-releases from Stan Getz and Bill Evans.

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If they are unable to make an acceptable profit off Verve, maybe they will sell it.

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however, subsidiaries like Verve Forecast will remain untouched.

Niiiice. :bwallace:

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i will never understand why they will not let mosaic reissue more of their material.

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Maybe they will. Seems to me as if Mosaic is steadily getting some of it out. Without their own reissue staff, Mosaic licensing may look like easier money, small change, but small change that comes easy.

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If you think Verve's a mess now, you should have seen it 30-35 years ago...

If this is indeed the end of a cycle, I can only say that things have been left immeasurably better than they were found.

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For the last fifteen years or so - at least - Verve has had no clue as to reiussing its back catalog. Maybe whoever buys them will know better...

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The Verve reissue program will be taken care of from Andorra!

Those Andorrans will do a better job, I'm sure!

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For the last fifteen years or so - at least - Verve has had no clue as to reiussing its back catalog. Maybe whoever buys them will know better...

What makes you think Uni music will sell off Verve? Highly unlikely. More probable is that they lease out the material to Mosaic and other labels - and even more likely they'll make more of it available for download.

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“I understand that Verve is eliminating the E at the end of the word as a cost-cutting measure, while Blue Note is eliminating both E's and the space between the words. Verv and BluNōt hope these changes will resonate with younger audiences accustomed to nothing more complicated than a text message...”

JfitzGenius

keep boppin´

marcel

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Whatever one may say about record companies in the past, and that's what they are, the past, it is not their fault that technology is changing so rapidly.

I don't think that reissuing Gary Mcfarland sessions top is their priority now.

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The Verve reissue program will be taken care of from Andorra!

Those Andorrans will do a better job, I'm sure!

Yes, ok, but (my emphasis above): how, without access to any master tapes, without decent engineers who remaster these tapes, and - call me anal - without original cover art, too? Of course in the end it's good if the music's out, but the Andorrans are pirates of some kind, even if within Europe their actions are legal. I don't like that.

About a year ago when the Verve LPR digipacks turned into jewel case releases with crappier sound in europe it seems, than in the US (remember the Lateef Psychicemotus discussion), I was already afraid of a change to worse, even when back then it only meant the establishment of two new (Europe-only? I think so) series instead of continuing the VMEs (very fine reissues, if you ask me - far too few, of course, but still good ones!) and LPRs.

Anyway, just today I bought two marvellous Freshsound 2CD sets, one with the Gellers' albums from 54/55 and one with the marvellous Savoy recordings of Eddie Bert. Let's give them big :tup for this kind of work, and fegh the cheapo pirates (although to be honest Lonehill is improving the presentation and liners, I must admit).

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Oh, and another thing: I played the whole Hamp Jam Session from that marvellous box last night... why didn't they let Mosaic do that one, as had been planned? How fast do things change in this effing cold business world?

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Whatever one may say about record companies in the past, and that's what they are, the past, it is not their fault that technology is changing so rapidly.

No, but it's their fault that they missed to hop on any kind of new technology. I am somewhat forced to believe there ever some kind of market for quality as opposed to cheapity, how ever small it may be.

Edit/addition: I suppose is the bigness of these multis (Universal, Sony/BMG, what else remains besides them? Warner? Hah....), their huge oversize, that's the problem. They got so big they have to always deliver, and how can you do that if not by giving panem et circensis? The future lies in the hands of small enterprises, it seems, but of course they have to fight just as hard, only not in such megalomane dimensions.

Edited by king ubu

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Whatever one may say about record companies in the past, and that's what they are, the past, it is not their fault that technology is changing so rapidly.

No, but it's their fault that they missed to hop on any kind of new technology. I am somewhat forced to believe there ever some kind of market for quality as opposed to cheapity, how ever small it may be.

Edit/addition: I suppose is the bigness of these multis (Universal, Sony/BMG, what else remains besides them? Warner? Hah....), their huge oversize, that's the problem. They got so big they have to always deliver, and how can you do that if not by giving panem et circensis? The future lies in the hands of small enterprises, it seems, but of course they have to fight just as hard, only not in such megalomane dimensions.

It's not just their size. Any publicly traded company has to be able to justify investing in a particular division on the grounds that they expect a better return on their investment than if they were to put that money in another of their divisions. The jazz reissue division clearly does not fit that bill currently (and isn't likely to in the future either, I'm afraid). RDK is probably correct that increased leasing activity is more likely than spin-offs. Leasing is preferable from a preservationist standpoint as well, as I would suspect that the majors have better facilities for storing the source material.

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Whatever one may say about record companies in the past, and that's what they are, the past, it is not their fault that technology is changing so rapidly.

I don't think that reissuing Gary Mcfarland sessions top is their priority now.

This isn't a case of our desires pulling the companies into a new format, it's a matter of the companies attempting to push us to a more profitable business model for them. Since the advent of 8-tracks, the market has always supported two recorded formats, one archivally superior (LP's, replaced by CD's), and one more portable/convenient (8-tracks, replaced by cassettes when Dolby noise reduction became commonplace, replaced now by downloads). The argument that downloads are a technological advance to replace CD's is not valid. As far as profitability, if LoneHill and Fresh Sound and Proper can figure out how to make jazz reissues work economically, the majors could if they wanted to. They're just greedy, don't want to be bothered with anything that doesn't offer the chance to generate big bucks. I'm willing to wait for the time the European copyright laws (and why do board members consider those somehow less valid than US copyright laws? They're more sensible) make titles available for European reissue by the LoneHill's and Fresh Sounds' rather than paying top dollar for the inferior download product Universal is foisting on us. Reissuing Gary McFarland sessions matters to the European independents, and I'm glad for that.

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I'm willing to wait for the time the European copyright laws (and why do board members consider those somehow less valid than US copyright laws? They're more sensible) make titles available for European reissue by the LoneHill's and Fresh Sounds' rather than paying top dollar for the inferior download product Universal is foisting on us. Reissuing Gary McFarland sessions matters to the European independents, and I'm glad for that.

I have nothing against the Euro copywrite laws, either. But if the Euro labels don't have access to the tapes, what are they going to master from?

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As far as profitability, if LoneHill and Fresh Sound and Proper can figure out how to make jazz reissues work economically, the majors could if they wanted to.

Well the majors do often pay royalties and I suspect always pay songwriters. (The fee is set by congress!) And when American independants put a lot of time, money and effort into reissus such as the early Charles Mingus box from UpTown they are often ripped off by the likes of Lonehill and Proper. (Ask Nessus.)

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As far as profitability, if LoneHill and Fresh Sound and Proper can figure out how to make jazz reissues work economically, the majors could if they wanted to.

Well the majors do often pay royalties and I suspect always pay songwriters. (The fee is set by congress!) And when American independants put a lot of time, money and effort into reissus such as the early Charles Mingus box from UpTown they are often ripped off by the likes of Lonehill and Proper. (Ask Nessus.)

It's also not a matter of making a profit. It's a matter of making a larger profit than if you invested the money elsewhere. If you're not doing that, you are doing a disservice to your shareholders. I know that sounds like a sucky way of looking at things to many people, but it is reality. I certainly prefer to see bigger rather than smaller appreciation in the stocks that I own.

Privately held labels don't have this constraint, which is why you see more product of interest to us coming from them.

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Yes, the majors were too slow to adjust. But they're catching up, or what's left of them, although some new technology will probably resurrect them in some form. Like the compact disc. After all, just about every Jazz record ever made has been reissued, and those not are probably available on eBay.

I wouldn't worry too much.

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As far as profitability, if LoneHill and Fresh Sound and Proper can figure out how to make jazz reissues work economically, the majors could if they wanted to.

Well the majors do often pay royalties and I suspect always pay songwriters. (The fee is set by congress!) And when American independants put a lot of time, money and effort into reissus such as the early Charles Mingus box from UpTown they are often ripped off by the likes of Lonehill and Proper. (Ask Nessus.)

It's also not a matter of making a profit. It's a matter of making a larger profit than if you invested the money elsewhere. If you're not doing that, you are doing a disservice to your shareholders. I know that sounds like a sucky way of looking at things to many people, but it is reality. I certainly prefer to see bigger rather than smaller appreciation in the stocks that I own.

Privately held labels don't have this constraint, which is why you see more product of interest to us coming from them.

You're right, of course, on the reality of how things DO work as far as ROI and shareholders. I work for Siemens, all $80 billion in revenue a year of it, so am much too painfully familiar with the concept, live in the world of "What will maximize our returns THIS QUARTER?". Wish the NEA would underwrite some jazz reissue programs or something. Something happened with that Uptown Mingus release where it had to be pulled from the market for some legal reasons. I never did get the whole story. I'm sure someone will chastise me and pull out a link on it from way before I was involved with this site.

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My uncle (whom I've never met) also works at Siemens.

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My uncle (whom I've never met) also works at Siemens.

And 450,000 other people do, too.

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Yeah, he's pretty high up though. I originally typed his title, but took it back in a moment of self-consciousness; again, I've never met him so I have less than nothing to brag about, just making a little conversation.

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It's also not a matter of making a profit. It's a matter of making a larger profit than if you invested the money elsewhere. If you're not doing that, you are doing a disservice to your shareholders. I know that sounds like a sucky way of looking at things to many people, but it is reality.

It is "sucky". It's a illusional/delusional "reality" that people buy into. It's a rationalization for simple, old-fashioned greed. And it has but one eventual outcome.

Shareholders who value the notion of a "good-enough" profit that comes accompanied by things like long-term social responsibility and a respect for cultural values had better start speaking up loudly and immediately, before it's too late, if it's not already.

WAKE UP!!!

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