03/24/09

Heads Up President Dave Love Exits Company

Dave Love, president of Heads Up International, is no longer employed by the jazz and blues label, which he founded in 1990. Love’s last day with the company was March 6. According to unconfirmed Internet scuttlebutt, Love was terminated by Heads Up’s parent company, the Concord Group, which acquired the label in 2005 along with Telarc International Corp., with which Heads Up had merged in 2000.

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Dave Love

Mike Wilpizeski, Vice President of Publicity for Heads Up and Telarc, e-mailed JazzTimes the following statement:

“Dave Love has left the Concord Music Group, effective Friday, March 6. The Heads Up and Telarc International labels will be combined with the Concord Jazz Label Group. Concord Music Group Executive Vice-President of A&R John Burk will be leading this label group on an interim basis and reporting to him will be industry veteran Mark Wexler as the Senior Vice-President of Marketing. This change is not connected to any restructuring nor is it intended to facilitate any further consolidations. The Concord Music Group remains committed to jazz music and the Heads Up and Telarc imprints. We thank Dave for his many contributions to the company, and we wish him nothing but the very best in all future endeavors.”

Love, also contacted by JazzTimes, e-mailed, “I’ve spent an entire career in trying to obtain press for the artists I represent and for the good of the art form. Regrettably at this time I have no comment on the recent changes in my professional relationship with the Concord Music Group.”

Artists whose recordings have been released by Heads up include Yellowjackets, Najee, Spyro Gyra, Pieces of a Dream, Hiroshima, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Andy Narell, Stanley Clarke, Marion Meadows, Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, and Walter Beasley. Recent releases have also included titles by Victor Wooten, Esperanza Spalding, Take Six, George Duke and Taj Mahal, as well as the final albums by Michael Brecker and Joe Zawinul.

Love, who was a trumpet player and served as musical director for Dr. Donald Byrd prior to running the label, launched Heads Up International, Ltd., in Seattle in 1990. The name of the company was borrowed from that of a jazz group with which he played while attending North Texas State University on a jazz studies, arranging and composition scholarship. The label’s first release was Dave Liebman’s The Energy of the Chance.

Heads Up has also been considered a pioneer in recording technology, among the first to release Enhanced CDs and Super Audio CD 5.1 Surround Sound (SACD) discs.

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