Jason Crane writes concerning the Doug’s Picks item about John La Barbera (right-hand column):
If I’m not mistaken, Joe is a co-owner of Jazz Compass with Clay Jenkins, Tom Warrington and Larry Koonse. The label has put out a crop of high-quality releases. It’s refreshing to see the players taking control of their musical destiny.
Mr. Crane is not mistaken. Jazz Compass is an intelligently run independent company, five years old, with a catalogue of fourteen CDs by its owners, as well as John La Barbera and drummer Steve Houghton. With major labels abandoning, downgrading or diluting jazz, companies owned and operated by musicians are helping to keep the music available. They have the laudable effect of also allowing musicians to keep more of the money they earn. Distribution is a problem, but it is one that Jazz Compass, Artist Share and other independent CD organizations are solving by way of the internet.
Gordon Sapsed says
Your mention of Joe LaBarbera and the excellent output from the Jazz Compass record label prompts the following:
Joe LaBarbera will, with musician colleagues such as Gary Foster, Dan Barrett, Frank Capp, Jennifer Leitham and Jim DeJulio, from the West Coast and East Coast residents such as Derek Smith, Joe Ascione, Frank Vignola, Bob Kindred, Tiger Okoshi, Phil Wilson and John Allred plus internationals like Peter Appleyard and almost the entire professional music establishment from the Mid West ALL be making their way to Topeka Kansas on Sunday July 23rd AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE WITH NO PROSPECT OF PAYMENT. (listing is best available but subject to change)
This generosity of travel expense,time and talent is all part of an all day Memorial Concert honouring the late Jim Monroe – an extraordinary jazz promoter who, some years ago, decided that jazz in his home town needed help and built an amazing following through the formation of the Topeka Jazz Workshop and associated events in Kansas City and St Joseph as well as, for nine years, The Topeka Jazz Festival. Many other big jazz names would also have attended but were unable to do so due to contractual commitments.
The proceeds from the day’s event will endow a Music Scholarship in Jim Monroe’s name.
Details at http://www.topekajazz.com/
Larry Koonse says
Just wanted to thank you for your comments about our record label, Jazz Compass. Joe La Barbera brought this page to my attention and I instantly made a connection because I have a copy of “Take Five” and I’m a huge fan of yours. I can’t imagine the mountain of work it took to create such a comprehensive look at Paul Desmond. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and the photographs. So much insight and detail about Paul’s life and thought process. The letters to his landlord and others were great bonuses.