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Thelonious Monk - Palo Alto (Impulse) --> fresh new monk!

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agree, Columbia being the problem now would mean the maximum possible screwup / embarassement on the side of Universal / Zev Feldman etc... then again, all the signs point towards a pretty big screwup...

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Posted (edited)

On 7/24/2020 at 10:27 AM, JSngry said:

Burn baby, burn.

When I buy from iTunes, I save it on my hard drive. Did they pull it from people's hard drives?

Was Feldman involved in this?

They were looking for the janitor on Facebook but even if they found him or his estate, I doubt he could prevent the release.

The Columbia theory makes more sense. But it could be TS Monk getting cold feet. Remember the Monk competition?

Edited by bertrand

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2 hours ago, Niko said:

my best guess is that Monk was still under contract with Columbia and they are now making trouble... Kelley's book mentions that some type of clearance from Columbia was necessary for the 1970 Japanese live recordings... so that would certainly apply here as well ... of course,it's also not hard to figure that out ... so ideally Universal would have settled this early on when preparing this release...

btw, don't know if this has been posted before, there's this website which collects promo material

https://www.uk-promotion.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/

including many pictures for the Monk release and also Robin Kelley's nice liner note essay...

https://www.uk-promotion.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Robin-Kelly-Monk-Palo-Alto-Liner-Notes-Final.pdf

Those liners make it pretty obvious he was still under contract to Columbia. If their rights weren't cleared first this is a screw up of epic proportion.

Fortunately in today's social media world I suspect we will know what is holding it up pretty quickly.

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Posted (edited)

This is all speculation but I find it hard to believe hat someone from the UMG legal department didn’t look into the issue of whether they had the rights to publish this. Again speculation, but they may not have had a copy of Monk’s contract with Columbia and didn’t want to tip-off Sony that they had this recording. I have been in situations where we couldn’t locate a contract for a third party and it can be difficult to legally obtain them. I have to think that their lawyers were careful and it was due to some other reason. 

Edited by Brad

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like I wrote above: For Monk's 1970 Japanese recordings, some type of clearance from Columbia was necessary according to Kelley's bio - so whatever the contract was, it seems safe to expect that some time of clearance would be necessary here as well...

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6 minutes ago, Brad said:

This is all speculation but I find it hard to believe hat someone from the UMG legal department didn’t look into the issue of whether they had the rights to publish this. Again speculation, but they may not have had a copy of Monk’s contract with Columbia and didn’t want to tip-off Sony that they had this recording. I have been in situations where we couldn’t locate a contract for a third party and it can be difficult to legally obtain them. I have to think that their lawyers were careful and it was due to some other reason. 

Are you really saying that it is and should be SOP for lawyers to not get clarification on what is an obvious question, you just say "hey we don't have copy of a contract with Columbia Records let's just let the chips fall where they may."

Finding out that lawyers approach things as "let them sue us" is just another black mark on the profession.

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No, what I’m saying is that any careful lawyer will want to know the extent of Columbia’s rights.  Apologies if that wasn’t clear. Now, I have had situations where our management decided to take a certain action despite my urging them not to do so. You can only explain the risks to people but if they want to take the action anyway, there is not much you can do (unless it’s clearly a violation of law, not necessarily the case here, which just involves contractual rights). 

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57 minutes ago, bertrand said:

The Columbia theory makes more sense. But it could be TS Monk getting cold feet. Remember the Monk competition?

The removal of downloads and from streaming services looks like the job of a proper legal department.

Plausible(?) scenario about this Monk release: Sony "product" were told about the project, but they're not doing physical product any more (at least jazz), so they were not interested. Universal were told, they were interested, they did the thing, they announced it. Sony "legal" got wind of it, and has stopped the release.

Yet more speculation, but having this stopped so close to the original release date (July 31), with all the physical product ready to go (and I presume some of it already out), would give more leverage in a negotiation to whomever has stopped it.

F

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18 minutes ago, Brad said:

No, what I’m saying is that any careful lawyer will want to know the extent of Columbia’s rights.  Apologies if that wasn’t clear. Now, I have had situations where our management decided to take a certain action despite my urging them not to do so. You can only explain the risks to people but if they want to take the action anyway, there is not much you can do (unless it’s clearly a violation of law, not necessarily the case here, which just involves contractual rights). 

OK.

 

"Didn't want to tip off Sony that they had this recording" was what I was going from.

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JPC in Germany now has a release date of December 31, 2020!

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From Danny Scher, the provider of the tapes: "I received word that there was a dispute between the estate and Monk's previous label".

Source: https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2020/07/28/when-jazz-royalty-came-to-paly-monks-long-lost-record-nearly-goes-public

It looks like Sony has blocked the release, which at the very least means that clearances (if any?) were not tight enough.

Given that Sony has pretty much abandoned physical product (at least in jazz), it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

F

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2 hours ago, Fer Urbina said:

From Danny Scher, the provider of the tapes: "I received word that there was a dispute between the estate and Monk's previous label".

Source: https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2020/07/28/when-jazz-royalty-came-to-paly-monks-long-lost-record-nearly-goes-public

It looks like Sony has blocked the release, which at the very least means that clearances (if any?) were not tight enough.

Given that Sony has pretty much abandoned physical product (at least in jazz), it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

F

I don't think clearances are tight or loose, they are given or not given. This suggests that Universal skipped that step, which is a huge mistake, or they went forward with the planned PR for the release and figured they'd cross that "T" if Columbia raised a fuss. Either way a very bad mistake.

Here's an alternative, from the liner notes that were posted. There was reference to Monk "owing" a recording session to Columbia. Is it possible his contract called for X number of recordings, rather than having all recordings be the property of Columbia. So if Columbia got the contracted number of recordings, the Monk family could regard the contract as fulfilled and therefore took it to Universal?

That doesn't really gibe with the idea that the Live in Japan release needed Columbia approval but at the same time ... the family cooperated on the big biography, they ought to know themselves what the contractual implications of new Monk are, and communicated them to Universal.

I'd say we don't know the whole story yet but at least we know the high school and the janitor aren't holding it up. 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Fer Urbina said:

From Danny Scher, the provider of the tapes: "I received word that there was a dispute between the estate and Monk's previous label".

Source: https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2020/07/28/when-jazz-royalty-came-to-paly-monks-long-lost-record-nearly-goes-public

It looks like Sony has blocked the release, which at the very least means that clearances (if any?) were not tight enough.

Given that Sony has pretty much abandoned physical product (at least in jazz), it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

F

And I’m sure Sony is  doing nothing to rush along a resolution. 

Edited by BrianB

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I assume Sony wants its cut and that’s probably what it’s all about. 

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On 7/24/2020 at 10:27 AM, JSngry said:

Burn baby, burn.

When I buy from iTunes, I save it on my hard drive. Did they pull it from people's hard drives?

Is it possible that they had reached a reasonable agreement with Sony, possibly including compensation, but that Sony changed their minds when they saw the buzz this was generating?

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3 minutes ago, bertrand said:

When I buy from iTunes, I save it on my hard drive. Did they pull it from people's hard drives?

That is not clear, but they could probably change the permissions for the file so that it would no longer play in iTunes and perhaps not on an iPod.  Or it might be removed when resynching.

I recall the fuss several years back when Amazon removed 1984 from people's Kindle, and in that case the file was in fact deleted from hard drives.

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6 minutes ago, bertrand said:

When I buy from iTunes, I save it on my hard drive. Did they pull it from people's hard drives?

Is it possible that they had reached a reasonable agreement with Sony, possibly including compensation, but that Sony changed their minds when they saw the buzz this was generating?

possible, of course, but I would find that quite surprising... this is how estates might behave, but corporations? btw, you asked about Zev Feldman's involvement, he is quite explicit about it here

https://blog.discogs.com/en/thelonious-monk-palo-alto-zev-feldman/

this passage is not without irony in retrospect:

"Sometimes projects just aren’t meant for certain labels, and Palo Alto certainly falls under that category. The Monk family told me about the Palo Alto recording in 2017 and we started working towards a deal with Resonance that didn’t materialize. From there, I introduced the family to my friends at Universal Music Group and they became engaged in conversations about a release with the Verve Label Group on Impulse Records!"

 

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Sounds like The Jazz Detective maybe needs to hook up with A Jazz Lawyer going forth?

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35 minutes ago, bertrand said:

When I buy from iTunes, I save it on my hard drive. Did they pull it from people's hard drives?

Is it possible that they had reached a reasonable agreement with Sony, possibly including compensation, but that Sony changed their minds when they saw the buzz this was generating?

This happened to me - erased from my iPhone, MacBook, and MacMini. Disturbing and creepy. 

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Posted (edited)

"I received word that there was a dispute between the estate and Monk's previous label," Scher said during a phone conversation on Monday, July 27. So the release has been taken off of the schedule indefinitely "due to circumstances beyond the label's control," according to a statement by Impulse! Records. Co-producer Feldman was unable to provide any further information at this time."They're not saying it's delayed.

They're saying we'll let you know if it's being released, not when," Scher said. "I've held onto this recording for 50 years. So I can hold onto it for another two or three decades." 

https://mv-voice.com/news/2020/07/28/when-jazz-royalty-came-to-paly-monks-long-lost-record-nearly-goes-public

Edited by Daniel A

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2 - 3 decades - I'll be long gone by then. :ph34r::angry:

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1 minute ago, jlhoots said:

2 - 3 decades - I'll be long gone by then. :ph34r::angry:

Scher will be too. He must be 67 now? Does he plan to live until he's 97?

The more I see about this, the more I suspect they did nothing with Sony/Columbia and its bitten them in the ass.   If they negotiated the rights a major corporation like Sony can't renege because they think they gave them away too cheaply. And its not like there is no recent benchmark for major archival recordings by legendary jazz artists. 

The fact that Zev tried to get it for Resonance tells me that he had to have gotten into the question of rights or else he was terribly negligent. For this to be going on three years and no one locked down Columbia's acquiescence or got into the question? Pathetic.

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I don't know that Sony is the problem.  If Monk owed them a record, how was Black Lion able to release the London session?  I just checked my two Giants of Jazz albums; neither say "Monk appears with kind permission of Columbia Records."

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What's the deal about it being when it was recorded, if the guy was under contract when it was recorded, the label has some kind of right of first refusal, or something like that? And it was all domestic, none of this Pan-Euro Radio thing.

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