Sunday, January 11, 2009

The cost of recordings - the sad news about New Note

It'll take time for New Note going into liquidation to hit home. It means short-term unavailability of many albums, into those few shops still around. But also lost revenue to many musician-led labels, such as Clark Tracey's Tentoten, Andrew Cleyndert's Trio, 33, Dave Stapleton's new Edition label, etc. etc. The list goes on. New Note was (is) the biggest.

Even the attempts to salvage the wreckage by Proper will not bring the lost money back. The last time there was a collapse was Mactwo. I think that the demise of Caber and the dormancy of Dune and Provocateur have to be related to this.

On the one hand, jazz is vulnerable, because even a few thousand pounds out of the system affects a permanently cash-starved sector. My optimism for music watchers is that the musicians and labels will react fast with solutions that the rest of the world could adapt to. It's very resilient in that regard. After all, wasn't the era of the Jazz Age also that of the 30s Depression?

I think that the need to build on loyalty and commitment, of fans as much as musicians, are key. It's a great "community".

Digital is one route. Another is to look for new means of direct action

The Vortex's initial response is to start a monthly music muarket from 22 Feb - in the afternoon. A chance for fans to buy direct and for labels to set out their wares at minimal cost. If it works, then we want to expand into the Square! (For more information about taking a stall contact This will be one of many experiments by many involved solve the problem, I'm sure. Bringing the music to the fans is certainly one way.

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