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?
Here’s a few Black Jazz Records artists:
Doug Carn featuring Jean Carne “Infant Eyes”
Kellee Patterson “Maiden Voyage”
Henry Franklin “Plastic Creek Stomp”