Several years ago, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp pulled the savvy move of creating a fan's collectors club. The basic idea was that selected vault recordings would be made available for a fee only to club members. Fabulous. Fripp may be a little obtuse at times, but he knows what the fans are there for: the music.
Not long after I had discovered Fripp's most interesting business venture, I found myself trolling around the Internet for a review copy of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny's long-awaited solo disc, One Quiet Night. I was lucky enough to make contact with Metheny's publicist. In the midst of our e-conversation, I brought up the idea of the Metheny version of Fripp's collectors club and was met with such phrases as "market saturation," and "competition with back catalog."
Clearly, music fans are not running the show.
Bringing up just one more tale of music industry stupidity might seem like shooting fish in a barrel, but at this point it just can't be avoided.
Clarinetist Mort Weiss had an album ready to go in 2003. A killer record with Hammond B3 master Joey DeFrancesco. Concord records decided that two releases with DeFrancesco would be too much— the other being Falling In Love Again, featuring vocalist Joe Doggs...better known as actor Joe Pesci.
A number of years (and many phone calls) pass and finally, finally Concord allows Weiss to release this recording. The stipulations were: Joey's name can in no way be associated with it. Not on the CD cover. Not during radio promotion. Not in the artwork. So here you have it— The B3 and Me "Featuring A Very Special Guest: The Finest Jazz Organist In The World, concord Recording Artist...You guessed it. It's HIM on B3."
It's just crazy, I tell ya.
Crazy because the music on The B3 and Me is stellar. Firstly, there have not been a whole lot of clarinet/B3 pairings. Second, the proceedings swing madly.