In a weird, but somehow believable way, the following ad was placed online on the Los Angeles, CA area Craiglist:
“Here is a chance to purchase the Master Tapes to the label Black Jazz Records. You can purchase them indiviually or complete,there is 20 master tapes total. The price for the entire Label is $285,0000 or you can buy the masters indivually for $12,000 each. There is no liens or licenses for the masters. They have a clear title, No royaltie obligations, This is a great deal for a label that wants to ad Jazz Masters to their masters library. Once you purchase the Masters your granted to rights to Re-produce Cds
and Vinyl and and to all Digital Download sights. Contact James if intersted. 510 452 5299 blackjazz a totally new jazz expierience…….”
“Someone has to do this the right way. These masters can not not be scooped up by a legitimate party. I’d hate to see these things never get bought and then get lost in a flood in Atlanta or wherever they eventually end up. ”
Ok, so if you pony up the 12 grand you get the multi-tracks and for 285 grand you get the entire catalog. Hmmm, could it be that one of the most famous and elusive to find Jazz labels that was bootlegged to death is now up for sale for under $300,000? Founded by Pianist Gene Russell in 1970, Black Jazz was short lived and put out under 30 releases until it’s folding in 1976. Since that time, the master tapes have changed hands a bunch of times, finally landing in James Hardge’s hands. Hardge, by a stroke of luck was sold the masters in the early 1990’s, and for a short while gave it a go reviving a Black Jazz website that included CD’s, downloads, and merchandise. That website is currently unavailable. Master tapes change hands so much over the years that who knows where this pile of one of the most authentic Jazz label’s music will end up? I’d love to see someone do this properly and reissue all of these records on 180g vinyl, with original album artwork and liner notes. I know this is on Egon and Gilles Peterson’s radar via Twitter so what do you say guys?
Both of these influential diggers/ reissue kings (that would be the Stones Throw/ Now Again and Brownswood respectively), as well as Wax Poetics or Nuemero Group, and a few others could really be the ones to do it properly. Someone has to do this the right way. These masters can not not be scooped up by a legitimate party. I’d hate to see these things never get bought and then get lost in a flood in Atlanta or wherever they eventually end up. So, if you know anyone with $300K burning a hole in their pocket, ask them nicely if they’d like to preserve a piece of music history. Pretty Please?
****UPDATE: Why Numero Group Is Not Buying Black Jazz
Here’s a few Black Jazz Records artists:
Doug Carn featuring Jean Carne “Infant Eyes”
Kellee Patterson “Maiden Voyage”
Henry Franklin “Plastic Creek Stomp”
I remember reading about the accusations of bootlegging made against Soul Jazz records. Apparently, this is nonsense. Moreover, it’s pretty hard to believe, considering the time and care Soul Jazz put into their projects -which I believe includes obtaining the necessary permission to reissue tracks.
In any event, if they have access to the cash, Soul Jazz would be suitable contenders, in light of the fact that they have done some beautiful spiritual/free jazz reissues and comps (and photo book!) over the last decade or so.
Get ten friends to buy 2 masters each and you can save 15% ($45k) over the total for all. Selling individual titles for less seems like a bad way to go about things, I’d rather see all of them go to one place.
And who uses Craigslist when looking for master tapes from defunct record labels? If it costs more than $100 Craiglist list is the last place I look.
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Numero Group summed it up pretty nicely today:
This is James Hardge C.E.O of Black Jazz. If you notice the Numberogroup has removed
theirs racist ass comments. The label is still for sale I had droped the price to $185,00
or $8,500 each master. I got a feeling that the person that will step up and take advantage of
this deal will not be any of the so-called crate diggers. I will come from a person with enough
sense to jump on this deal. Those who don’t know me or the business of Black Jazz keep the
negative comments out of your mouth. Im trying to conduct business. Thanks James Hardge
C.E.O Black Jazz.
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
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
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 773 655 3147 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 510 452 5299
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folks, … what did ya do … if y’d like to sale bjr the internetsite must be a part of it (whole content incl. domain), but now it’s parked at a domain trasher… bad strategy
This is some tacky bulls#!t !! A label for sale on Craig’s list!?–Dayum. BTW, the tapes shown are 1/4″ masters; what about the 2″ ? Saying “……..They have a clear title, No royaltie(sp) obligations…..” is shameful. …….Copyright owners will surely disagree with that. BEWARE!!