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Pop Veterans Team With Blue Note and Angel Labels

Both jazz and classical music record sales have been going down the tubes in the face of the Britneyfication of the American music-buying public, and EMI Recorded Music North America has not ignored the recent trends. Indeed, EMI has decided to hire renowned pop producer Arif Mardin and pop executive Ian Ralfini to rejuvenate its Blue Note and Angel labels, presumably to bring pop marketing sophistication and slickness to music that could certainly use better marketing.

Mardin and Ralfini will act as Co-Vice-Presidents and General Managers of the newly reinstituted Manhattan Records label. They will sign and record a number of artists for Manhattan; Blue Note and Angel will market the acts as appropriate.

Mardin will produce acts for both Blue Note and Angel, which should be interesting, given that his biggest hit as a producer was the Bee Gee’s “Jive Talkin’.” Mardin has also produced recordings by the Modern Jazz Quartet, Aretha Franklin, the Average White Band, and Phil Collins. Ralfini, meanwhile, is best known for signing such acts as Fleetwood Mac, America, and Rod Stewart, back when those acts were artistically relevant.

Time will tell if Mardin and Ralfini can rejuvenate of Blue Note and Angel, but you can look at what Blue Note currently has to offer at

Originally Published