Black Jazz Records Part 2

About a month back, I saw a conversation on Twitter between Egon from Stones Throw and Gilles Peterson. It was a link to the sale of the underground 70′s Jazz label called Black Jazz. I decided that it was worth looking into, and that my readers would be interested in the story. I ran it here. The summary of the article was that I was basically pleading with known (or unknown) labels that reissue to buy Black Jazz and do it right, while questioning how a label like this ends up on craigslist. To me here at FMF, it was an important label that shouldn’t have the masters lost in a flood or house fire, never to be heard by Jazz and music lovers again. About a month later, I received an e-mail from the latest owner and CEO of Black Jazz Records, James Hardge. The e-mails from him to me were threatening, full of racist comments, and accused myself and people in the record community of, in his words “debasing” the label due to my article and the negative comments that were posted on sites such as Soul Strut, the Numero Blog, Crate Digger, etc. from it. I’d like to point out that in no way, shape, or form did I debase the label, slander Hardge, or encourage people in this record/music community to form a negative opinion of the label. Mr. Hardge saw it another way. Here is a series of emails that we exchanged:

from blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to “djprestige@djprestige.net”
date Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:57 PM
subject Black Jazz Records

Mr. So-Called Flea Market Funk. For a minute I thought that it was cool for you to spread the word that Black Jazz is for sale. But the more that I read on you blog the more I saw that you and others were outright insulting me and the Label. All I did was post the Black Jazz label for sale on Craigslist. And all of you caucasian so-called crated diggers are tripping. It’s a great deal what’s the problem? Why did you say it was weird to be on Cragislist? Type in the words Rolls Royce Phantom on Craigslist and see if will see one for sale for $400,000 Why not a Jazz Label. What is your problem? If your not interested then why take the time out to post it and insult me on your blog.

Now im being attacked personaly, and the label is being debased. Thats why I know I got something everyone wants. Why don’t you personaly make me offer. Help find a buyer I will give you a 4% commision. What is the problem? If you and our friends think that Black Jazz deserves a better home. Than collectively buy it. I spoke with Numero along with other labels 1 year ago. What is the need for them to open their mouth. They declined simply because the could not afford it. What’s the problem?

Take all that negetive shit down from your blog. Better yet call me and less discuss how we can make some money and sale this label.

James Hardge C.E.O Black Jazz

from DJ Prestige djprestige45@gmail.com
to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
date Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM
subject Re: Black Jazz Records

Mr. Hardge:

While I do appreciate your email in regards to my coverage of the Black Jazz Records masters for sale, I wanted to straighten a few things out in regards to your perception of the message of the article. First off, FleaMarketFunk.com has been in operation for over four years, and is and always will be dedicated to preserving the sometimes forgotten artists, labels, and music of all kinds of people, be it Black, White, Brown, Yellow or what have you. Secondly, this is a not for profit site that runs on donations for server and provider costs.

The purpose of my article, was to make people aware that the label was for sale, and yes, in the DJ/ record collecting/ record digging community, it is a little strange to see a record label (who’s original records are coveted among collectors) on craigs list. That wasn’t an insult sir, it was fact. You were not being attacked. The fact that it was a topic on Twitter between two important people in the record/ music community should let you know that the label is of some concern to people in that particular community, not the regular public. I would like to say that I have definitely taken offense to your statement of “all of you caucasian so-called crated diggers are tripping.” This issue, and the article I wrote, is not a race issue, which you have clearly made it in to. In fact, it’s a sad topic of an obscure Jazz label (and ask around, I guarantee you that the only people that care or even know about this label are record collectors and DJs) being lost once again, and great music not being able to be shared with music lovers. I am not a racist, and I’d appreciate it if you would not say such things, as we do not even know each other. The topic is the sale of Black Jazz, and since I’ve written about it, I believe people like Numero have told their side of the story (quite truthfully and candid by the way) on why they aren’t buying the Master Tapes for your label.

I understand you are a business man, and you want to make money, and that’s fine with me, that’s your prerogative. I am in the business to write about records, record labels, and artists, unbiased, and certainly not pertaining to race. How about we do an interview and you can get your side of the story out? You can say everything you want, I will print the entire interview in full, and the world can hear your side of the story. The man that owns the Black Jazz masters has to have something to say.

Warm Regards,

Jamison Harvey
FleaMarketFunk.com

from blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to DJ Prestige
date Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 10:02 PM
subject Black Jazz/Masters

Mr. Jamison as regards to your e-mail explaing an interview.

1. There is no side to my story I have no story. Im just a individual trying to
sale a Classic record label.

2. The re-marks and slander was made on your site. Mr. Ken Shipley from Numero
opened himself up for a law suit. That’s now his problem.

3. It’s not strange at all to see Black Jazz for sale on Cragislist or E-bay or
wherever I want to post it.

Let me school you on something. When I had been approaching the independent records
labels a year ago. Ubiqutiy,Numero,Soul Jazz,Giles Peterson,Stones Throw… they
all are interested but since their pockets was not long enough they kept it among
themselves and only whispered about it.

But when I put it on Craigslist, ALL HELL BROKE OUT. That means, people such as your
self independent producers,colletors,store owners, everybody knows now. That is what
the controversy is all about. Thanks god for craigslist, I got potential buyers calling
me now!!!!

Jamison Black Jazz has life it still sales. I am guilty of not giving it the attention
it deserves that’s why Im saling it. I still make a good living off Black Jazz.

You think that the Black Jazz caused controversy. Im sitting on the masters of a label called ?
Let’s just say what is the first book in the bible, I will give you another hint Phil
Collins came from a band named?

I can only do one thing at a time. Im just trying to get through this Black Jazz sale.
Im now sailing them as independent masters for $8,500 each obo I think I got a buyer
who only wants the Calvin Keys masters. So I got 18 more masters to go. If you want to
make some money and own a couple masters I will give you a deal you can’t refuse.

By the way great site I been a fan of your Blog for 2 years.

I just don’t understand why some people are slandering me and questioning the legitimacy
of the label and it’s ownership.

Trust me the inside label people and their croonies are mad as hell that I put in on Craigslist
The LA Weekly contact me and did a story and Village Voice. So it’s going viral.

I will sale the masters before Christmas this is a really good business oportunity to do 180gram
vinyl digital,sampling,documentary etc…….. I think we can make some money Jamison even if
you find buyers. I will give you a commision.

James Hardge Black Jazz C.E.O a totally new jazz expierence

from blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to DJ Prestige
date Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:31 AM
subject Black Jazz Records

I gave it some thought Jamison why don’t you just remove the Black Jazz story from your blog . I dont need a lot

of looky lews and window shoppers commiting about my label. Im just try to find a buyers.

Thanks.

At this point, he’s asked me to take down the article, and the LA Weekly article I’m referring to is here.

from DJ Prestige djprestige45@gmail.com
to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
date Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM
subject Re: Black Jazz Records
mailed-by gmail.com

Did you ask the LA Weekly to remove their story as well?

blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to DJ Prestige
date Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM
subject Black Jazz Records

One of the writers from LA weekly is and Jazz collector. He saw the craigslist posting
and he respectfully called me and asked if he could do a interview and publish a story
in the LA Weekly. If you read the article it was a interview. I also was contacted from
KPFK Los Angeles & Oakland and did a phone interview.

What you have done is cut and paisted the interview and the posting without my consent
and what it has done. It aloud every thrift store flea market wanna be to leave negative
comments and spread rumors.

All weekend I surfed the web from Soul Strut to Crate Diggers etc…. And I see is a bunch
of fake ass Dj’s and collectors running their mouth and spreading vicious rumors. If you
notice Ken Sharply at Numero removed his racist ass commets. He knows he opened himself up
for a law suit.

Black Jazz is for sale, And it will sale soon. My posting was not meant for your peers
to take shot’s at the label. Im open, why has no one called me? The only person that called
was the Numero Group he admited he was out of line.

Im asking you to remove it. It serves no purpose and all of the comments are racist ass opinions
Some even lied and bragged about how they turn this deal down and how it’s not worth the money.
A bunch of ego tripping grandstanding bastards, As I said before the problem is that everybody
wants the label bad, but you pockets are not deep enough. Historically most caucasions not all,
but most debase,slander, the things that they can’t control or own and that’s what we have
with Black Jazz.

It’s worth something? You mean you have nothing better to do with your life than to post bullshit
rumors? Grow up. Im tyring to buy my second Rolls Royce remove the posting and stay out of my way.

James Hardg C.E.O Black Jazz a totally new jazz expierence……….
P.S cut all of this e-mal bullshit out were grown men call me

from DJ Prestige djprestige45@gmail.com
to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
date Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 11:23 AM
subject Re: Black Jazz Records

Mr. Hardge:

With all due respect, I asked you for an interview to tell your side of the story that I would print on FMF in full and you declined. That is your prerogative, and I respect that. Like I said in my previous email: you’re in the business to sell a record label, I’m in the business to write about record labels, artists, and records. I don’t need your consent to cut and paste a classified ad you posted on a public classified website on my site. I, in no way shape or form put Black Jazz Records, or you in a negative light, or posted “bullshit rumors because I don’t have anything better to do in life”. If you read my article, I was praising the label, and in my opinion, asking people I respect in the industry (who I do not know personally) through my site to be aware of the situation and that’s it. I am not responsible for the negative comments the public put on Numero’s site, Soul Strut, or Crate Diggers. I am here to give an unbiased opinion of the situation, which I found relevant to the readers of Flea Market Funk.

Thank you for the offer to help find a buyer, and your generous deal of a 4% commission. I will decline that respectfully, as I am not a record label broker, merely a guy who wants to preserve this music that gets forgotten so easily these days. It was a nice gesture, but unfortunately I have to decline.

The reason I asked you for an interview is because I wanted you to give your opinion of the situation, and for people to see both sides of the coin. The offer is still open for the interview, and we can definitely do it over the phone. I will tell you this though, if you don’t stop harassing me with racist and threatening emails, I will post every email you sent me, along with my responses back to you on Flea Market Funk (which I can do because it is MY site and you contacted me). Your bullying a music journalist about writing an article in regards to the sale of a record label is really uncalled for. If anything, my previous, unbiased article made people aware of the situation. Mr. Hardge, you are the one shedding the negativity on the label by your rants, racist remarks, and sometimes illegible postings on every ” thrift store flea market wanna be” website. If you would take the time to actually hear what people are saying, see above what you perceive people to be, and not make remarks like “Historically most caucasions not all, but most debase,slander, the things that they can’t control or own”, people might actually listen. I did not write the article to start a war of words, but to make people in the record community aware of the situation, and I surely wasn’t even close to being “in your way”. I wish you luck in the sale of Black Jazz Records, and when the master tapes (how about the multi-tracks and the rights to the name, licensing, distribution, etc.?) are sold, feel free to contact me and I will let people know they’ve changed hands.

Warm Regards,

Jamison Harvey
Flea Market Funk

from blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to DJ Prestige
date Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM
subject Black Jazz

Mr. Flea Market Funk don’t trip you don’t have to respond just take
my logo and likness down and remove my name from you forum.

I don’t know you and you don’t know me. I need nothing from you.
Go about your business, it’s that simple.

Take Care and keep on digging for the good ol’ Flea Market Funk LOL

By the way, when I sale the label and I will real soon, it’s nobody’s
business but me and the buyers. Why do I have contact you? Who are you?
and what roll do you think you would play? You arrogant bastard.

James Hardge Black Jazz

from blackjazz@mindspring.com blackjazz@mindspring.com
reply-to “blackjazz@mindspring.com”
to DJ Prestige
date Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM
subject Black Jazz/Numero Group

I want to get the record straight. The owner of the label Numero Group Mr. Ken Shipley felt that he needed to personaly take it upon himself and tell the public why Numero did not purchase Black Jazz. Let’s be perfectly clear that the only reason Numero did not purchase the Black Jazz label is that he could not afford it. Rather it cost $250,000 or $50,000. Black Jazz has contacted well over 75 labels 1 year ago to try to find a home for Black Jazz. Why is it that the Numero Group is the only label who felt that they needed to post on facebook, Flea Market Funk and Various Blogs, the reason why he turned down the Black Jazz offer. What’s so strange is not only did he tell lies about what they were offered. Mr. Ken Shipley has steped outside his proffession and slandered me personaly and tried his best to debase the labels worth. The Numero Groups concepts in business is to go into rural areas in the Black community and find records that no one has claimed and the masters are lost. This in turn makes the music public domain or better yet, if you can’t find the copyright owner, then it’s a game of catch me if you can. Then Numero reissue’s the music and markets the cd’s and lp’s. Basicly what it amounts to is getting something for nothing. So you kinda get the mind set that Ken Shipley has when he is conducting business. So when I approached Mr. Shipley about purchasing Black Jazz he was very interested he called me everyday. We were suppose to meet up in San Francisco doing his Vacation to talk. The problem is he thought he was going to aquire Black Jazz the way he aquires all of the rest of the music on his label which is for free. “James what about you give us the rights to the label and we pay you royalties on the
back end” my reply is this “Pimps and Hoes”

It’s a classic case of the very thing that you want so bad, if you can’t control it, or own it, then you start attacking it or debase it. He claims that Black Jazz is only worth $50,000 well guess what? Mr. Shipley don’t have $50,000 it all goes back to he wants the label for free and he’s mad about it. I believe that Mr. Ken Shipley tried to post a fake reason why his company turned down Black Jazz to exhault his company has if he on the same level as Black Jazz. It’s called ego grandstanding. To all of you who haved posted negative things about Black Jazz and it’s owner. It is something that I epected. You all have a roll to play Post this to all the people you know. It’s going up on my websight and going viral this week. I noticed that none of you so-called soul diggers contacted me to make a offer. You are all hiding behind the blogs with fake names throwning darts. I even found out that some of you know me personally and have conducted business with me. So you smile in my face and attack me under alias names on blogs. UNBELIEVABLE

Also Mr. Shipley has a picture of a Black Man with braids representing the Numero Group on his facebook slandering me. Hey Ken why don’t you put your picture out there?
If you dont know no better you would think that this Black Man from Numero is attacking Black Jazz. This is a very racist tactic. The number at Numero is XXX XXX XXXX call Mr. Shipley and ask him why he removed the post, if had done nothing wrong, then he should had never taken his racists ass remarks down. I will put them up on my website in a week.

My goal is to have Ken Shipleys racist ass rant go viral and expose his company. Hey Mr. Shipley you can’t stoop down to the level of these racist ass bloggers who are
hiding behind alias names, and posting crazy ass off the wall comments. Your in the public you are a company “The Numero Group” Ken you should no better.

James Hardge C.E.O Black Jazz

I felt that in the light of this last e-mail, that I wanted to expose what was going on here, and let the people who read this form their own opinion. To DJ’s, collectors, music bloggers, artists, and the like, Numero Group have always been straight shooters in the reissue game. That’s why they are among, if not the best at it. I am not hiding behind a fake name, and in fact, I was going to keep these e-mails under my hat until he sent the last one, which he claims he will go live with in a week. (But soon after was live on Soul Strut). This same rant was posted as a comment on my site, so before I approve it, I wanted to have all of them together so they were consistent throughout, and I wasn’t portraying any one party unfavorably. As I said in the e-mails to Mr. Hardge, I am a music writer, not a record label seller, and I do not know the inner workings of reissuing a defunct label or for that matter, how to even broker a deal like that. I know that throughout many years in the music industry, all kinds of artists were exploited at different times in history, and I’m sure it caused animosity. I’m not condoning those actions, which I have nothing to do with, nor am I using that kind of tactic here on Flea Market Funk. I respect the music, the artists, the labels, and I want to preserve them and expose them to anyone who will listen. I feel it’s important to do, and as long as I can keep doing it and digging for these records I will. That being said, the Black Jazz Records master tapes are still for sale, and I’m sure someone will scoop them up, whoever that is. No matter what has been said, I still feel that the label was an important part of music history and it needs to be preserved. You be the judge. Keep Diggin’!

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6 responses to “Black Jazz Records Part 2

  1. I presume that Numero Group took down the post to which Mr. Hardge is referring in hopes of bringing an end to their ‘exchange’.

    @Jamison: I thought your replies to Hardge’s rather…intense emails were well-considered. Well done for keeping your cool -and your dignity.

  2. I was never privy to that post from Numero, but I really found it in poor taste to attack someone for one, writing an article promoting the sale of the label, and two, a potential buyer who passed because the return on investment was not favorable. A shame, but I guess that’s how it goes.

    Thanks for the kind words in regards to the emails…it has to be all about the music. Cheers-

  3. Sucks to take this kinda heat, thanks for all the work you do on here.
    Sounds to me like the guy invested in those masters for all the wrong reasons.
    -Frankie

  4. Amazing! You should ask some of the artists who worked on many of these recordings–including myself–what they think about Hardge, who knows not of sale vs sell …… :-(

    Sanifu

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