The Phoenix-like Savoy Jazz, which was resurrected for the umpteenth time in 2002, is getting more powerful by the day: It just purchased the catalog of 32 Records, which owned the rights to releases on the Muse and Landmark labels.
Strauss Zelnick, chairman/CEO of Savoy Jazz’s parent company Columbia Music Entertainment (CME), says, “The Muse and Landmark catalogs combine with Savoy to give CME a commanding presence in jazz. We plan to aggressively leverage our strength in the genre on a global basis through both catalog reissue and new recording.”
Steve Vining, Savoy’s president, says, “The depth of catalog and caliber of artists from the combined entities will give us a tremendous opportunity to remarket from a treasure-trove of material and compliment our existing Savoy reissue program.”
Musicians like Grant Green, Pat Martino, Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Houston Person and Donald Byrd make up that fancy catalog, as does 32 Records’ enormously successful (and cheesy) Jazz for a Rainy Day series, which is still the best-selling mid-line collection of jazz. Savoy is re-launching …Rainy Day in time for Valentine’s Day, using updated packaging but with the original covers that feature Elle magazine models.
Savoy, however, isn’t just going to be a reissue label. Steve Backer, Savoy’s vice president of A&R, says, “I am thrilled to announce forthcoming projects by saxophonist James Moody, singers Andy Bey and Carol Welsman, flutist Hubert Laws and a collective group featuring saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. These projects will all have a specific musical viewpoint and will have an impact with music fans and the recording industry. In the face of declining artist rosters at many record labels, our aggressive thrust into the marketplace is particularly noteworthy.”