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Steve Vai Starts Jazz Label

Guitarist Steve Vai (pictured), he of the lightning-quick lick and oppressively tight trousers, has announced that his fretboard shredder-friendly label Favored Nations will soon launch a jazz-dedicated imprint dubbed Favored Nations Cool.

“The idea to eventually grow and branch out into other genres has always been our intention at Favored Nations,” says Vai. “I attended Berklee College of Music and studied jazz and discovered that, although some jazz sounds like meandering in a harmonic wilderness, some of it is quite inspired and stimulating. Ray Scherr, my partner, is a big fan of good jazz and our mission with Favored Nations Cool is to find brilliant and dedicated jazz musicians to work with.”

So far, those dedicated jazz musicians are guitarist Larry Coryell, Novecento, a band featuring guitarist Stanley Jordan, and Mimi Fox, a Bay Area straightahead guitarist whose forthcoming album She’s the Woman will be Favored Nations Cool’s first release. “I was stunned at how deep her emotional commitment was to her playing,” says Vai of Fox. “She has an extraordinary blend of musicianship, technical ability, and sheer passion. The type of musicians I want to sign are dedicated artists who never had to make a choice about being a jazz musician because they were always naturally attracted to it. Mimi is one of those.” She’s the Woman is out March 23.

For more info on Favored Nations, visit

Originally Published