An Interview with George Klabin, President of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation. Updated January, 2008.

George Klabin has been involved in jazz since the mid 60’s, when he was a student at Columbia University, in New York City, and was head of the JAZZ department at WKCR FM Radio. To create original jazz content for his various jazz shows, George contacted the young jazz talents living in the City, and asked to record them for his show, in exchange for giving them copies of the recordings. He purchased pro recording equipment and taught himself how to record direct to 2-track stereo.

I: George, What was it like as a young independent jazz engineer and jazz DJ in the mid sixties in new York?

G: The mid 60’s was perhaps the most vibrant time in the short history of modern jazz. If we agree that modern jazz started with bebop in the 40’s, then the period 20 years later was a time when many new ideas were being exposed, new styles evolved, and the seeds of today’s modern jazz were growing and flourishing. Many young jazz musicians appeared during this period, who truly had unique styles. Also, their technical abilities surpassed those of most of the previous generation of modern jazz players. Jazz was a respected art form, and had a real place among listeners.

While I was always a fan of the mainstream style of jazz, which certainly dominated at that time, there were other variations emerging, from musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Giuffre, Albert Ayler, and others. There was also the October Revolution in New York in the Fall of 1964, a series of concerts by lesser known avant-garde jazz artists. This was, in my opinion, the actual historical point at which one could say there was a large scale avant-garde jazz movement.

I was fortunate enough to have attended some of those concerts. Shortly thereafter, a young attorney named Bernard Stollman founded ESP Records in New York, dedicated to recording many of these avant garde artists. I actually worked for him for a few weeks one summer in that period. During that time I introduced him to the pianist Bob James who, despite being a solid bebop player, wanted to record a record of experimental music. Stollman signed him for one record, which was called Explosions.

I started a radio show on WKCR entirely devoted to this “New Jazz”. While I personally did not enjoy it nearly as much as mainstream, I knew that it was important and needed to be exposed. And during this time I discovered and met some of the young players who were to become icons on their instruments: Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Gary Burton. This is a theme that I have carried forward now with the formation of my Foundation, The Rising Jazz Stars, to find and present the next young giants, the future stars of mainstream jazz. I think I have learned to recognize exceptional talent.

I: What was your most memorable recording experience during the 60’s?

G: Recording the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big band on opening night, February 1966, at the Village Vanguard. My recordings helped them obtain their first record deal. I have to add, that those recordings were released on CD without my permission or knowledge, several years ago, without payment to any of the musicians.

Getting special permission from Helen Keane, to record the Bill Evans Trio Live at the Top of the Gate in 1966.

Recording Keith Jarrett live at the Vanguard in 1967, and. Les McCann live before he changed his style (that was released 10 years ago on 32 Records as “How’s Your Mother”). Recording Albert Ayler live in Greenwich Village. (Released on Impulse). Recording Charles Lloyd live in concert with Gabor Szabo.

I: What did you do after college?

G: I wanted to open my own recording studio in New York. In 1968, after I graduated, Helen Keane, Bill Evans’ manager, introduced me to Don Elliott, who had a small studio on the West Side in New York. He had an 8-track machine, which was pretty much state of the art. I had recently met Don Schlitten, A&R head for Prestige Records and I recommended he record pianist Roger Kellaway, which was released as The Roger Kellaway Trio (Prestige PR 7399; Fantasy OJCCD 1897-2) and also introduced him to Jerry Newman, the engineer who was famous for having recorded Charlie Parker in the 40’s live on a disk recorder, and then gave away the disks because he hated the music. Newman had played me amazing recordings he made live at Minton’s in Harlem from the same 1940’s period, with the young Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy, and even Monk before he developed his own style, playing his composition Epistrophy in the swing style of Teddy Wilson . There was some great Art Tatum too. Newman licensed these recordings to Prestige. It was fabulous stuff, both historically and musically. Once again, here’s that theme in my life, of being involved, though retroactively in this case, with some of the great jazz icons when they were just starting their careers.

Anyway, despite being only 22, I now had some credibility with Schlitten, and he agreed to let me engineer some of his upcoming records. We did two Dexter Gordon albums (Tower of Power), some James Moody, Barry Harris, Pucho, Illinois Jacquet, and others. It was a wonderful time and I was just thrilled to be working with such great talents. Having 8 tracks was a luxury. I had always had to record everything live to 2-track, with no EQ or even reverb, using only headphones. But those lessons served me well.

I: So how long did you stay at Don Elliott’s studio?

G: I was there for less than a year, and decided I did not want to buy that studio. As it turned out that was fortunate. I was soon introduced to the violinist Harry Lookofsky, who was known in jazz circles for his album “Stringsville” on Atlantic. Harry was a classical and session violinist who had the unique ability to read and play written jazz improvisation lines as if he was making it up. On this album he performed these written “improvisations” created by Bob Brookmeyer for a small group setting.

Harry’s son Mike was the leader of the group The Left Banke which had one big hit with “Walk Away Renee”. Harry had created a very nice small recording studio for the group, in a building on Broadway near 48th Street.(New Yorkers around in the 60’s and 70’s may recall a building which housed the game parlor called “Fascination”).

This studio had potential, but needed new equipment. I bought a half interest in it. Harry agreed to use the money to buy a 12-track recorder and a new console. Interestingly enough, for those who know about recording consoles, I ended up purchasing the very first API console ever made. In 1970 API was a brand new company. Just as it was with my musical choices, I chose this unproven company because I believed in their equipment, and I was very pleased with the quality of it. Today they are one of the larger and more successful console manufacturers in the world.

I: What happened at this new Studio?

G: Well, we christened it SOUND IDEAS, and Harry started to bring in musicians and producers that he met, on his recording sessions, to introduce them to our studio.

I: Whom did you record?

G: In our early days of the late 60’s to early 70s; we had one room, and we recorded anyone who would pay. That included a very diverse mixture: music for the Archies TV show, a demo for a small client where I hired Herbie Hancock on organ, for $25.00 an hour. Commercials for TV for TWA, and for Tom Dawes, the leader of the group with the hit “Turn Down Day” We even did the background music for the first big screen porno film “Behind the Green Door”. I only found out when I saw the film in a theater, and heard familiar music, and saw the credits at the end! And always, where possible, Jazz. I recorded for Muse Records. Once I recorded a 45 rpm single for Paul Horn, with arrangements by Claus Ogermann.

I: After the early 70’s?

G: Capitol Records closed their studios on 46th Street in 1973, and Harry and I decided to rent the space. First we took the second floor with all the offices and one studio, and soon after we added the main room on the ground floor, and rebuilt both rooms. I didn’t use a traditional sound designer. I wanted a space that was beautiful and modern. I selected DALLEK, a designer of modern commercial spaces to do the large room. They did a great job .The room had a 15 foot ceiling, and we instantly became recognized as one of the few big orchestral recording rooms in the city.

I: Memorable recordings?

G: Five James Brown albums; the #1 hit :A Fifth of Beethoven”, films scores such as “Coffy”, many commercials, and plenty of jazz. We did most of the DENON PCM 8-track digital Jazz Series in the later 70’s. These were the very first multi-track digital recordings in the world! Fabulous records. Great sound. I’m very proud of those. The Japanese would come twice a year and record their favorite jazz musicians. These were musical giants, but not necessarily the biggest names: Tommy Flanagan, The New York Jazz Quartet, Sonny Stitt, Frank Foster, Archie Shepp.

For a few years I had one of the world’s greatest jazz engineers on our staff- David Baker. Other jazz labels who used our studio included: ENJA, ECM, A&M, too many to recall.

I engineered many of the releases for Strata East- Charles Tolliver’s jazz collective organization’s label. The most memorable was Tolliver’s Big Band in 1975. Just recently he signed with Blue Note and released a new big band album which includes a tune, “Mourning Variations” that I first recorded on the 1975 album. We mixed a milestone record in jazz history: The Brecker Brothers first album. I did a lot of work for Muse- Mark Murphy “Bridging the Gap”, DonatoDeodato.

I worked twice with Quincy Jones. Harry Lookofksy did those wonderful violin parts on the tune “What’s Goin’ On” from Smackwater Jack (A&M) ” and later on “Sounds and Stuff Like That.” He played a transcribed piano solo (Herbie Hancock’s Tell Me a Bedtime Story) 16 times, to create a unique unison violin sound that swung .

It was a vibrant time for all music. I always feel that the 70’was the greatest period in the history of music. It was a time when creativity with melody and harmony were encouraged. I remember that I used to feel that the pop songs of that period were too simplistic. Now I really appreciate them a lot compared to the large amount of drivel that is produced today.

I: What happened with your studio? I understand you sold in it 1981.

G: Yes. As the 70’s closed, we found ourselves, along with the whole recording industry, faced with the proliferation of small private production studios, who rented out unused time at rates one half to one third of the big studio prices. By the way, the cost of recording in a major studio was about $150.00 an hour for 24-track in the mid 1970’s. Here we are 30 years later and the cost is actually less. Good studios can be booked for $500-1000 a day. It’s an insane way to do business. The cost of top of the line equipment can run hundreds of thousands of dollars. A really good large commercial studio costs millions to build!

I saw the writing on the wall in the late 70’s. My last stab at survival was to spend $200,000 to buy the new. 3M 32-track Digital Recorder. We were the first studio on the East Coast with this machine. For a while, we did well. We worked with recordings for Billy Joel, a Streisand concert, and location rentals, etc.

But eventually the rest of the recording world caught up. I decided to sell out in 1981. It was no longer fun to own a studio. I was doing a lot of management, and jazz started to change. Fusion jazz became smooth jazz, and lost its newness. Mainstream was in a funk. Jazz was in a dying phase. Few original artists came up.

I: So after you sold, what did you do?

G: I remained a jazz fan. I didn’t do recording. I stayed away, for about 20 years. I was in another business.

I: So what made you return?

G: The opportunity to work with a very good female jazz singer from Texas who moved to the L.A. Area, where I was then living part time. I wanted to produce and record her, and acted as an informal manager. I didn’t want to make money with her. I just wanted to help.

I: So what happened?

G: Well it didn’t work out with her, but it got me back into the idea of being active in jazz. I discovered that the L.A. area was full of really great jazz talent. And many of them needed help. Its hard enough to make a living playing jazz, much less being able to know how to produce yourself properly. I worked with a local jazz club in Santa Monica for a while- assisting them with booking, sound, and also recording many of the acts live. It really helped me to learn about the local jazz scene and to recall how much fun it was to be involved with great mainstream jazz again. So, in 2005, I had the idea to start a Foundation.

I: So tell me about your Foundation

G: In the 60’s and 70’s, it was possible for new jazz artists of talent to get recorded on a record label specializing in jazz, since they needed new artists to enlarge their roster. However, that has all changed as the jazz audience has receded and it’s almost impossible for a young very talented jazz artist to be recorded on a major jazz label. Actually, there are practically no major jazz labels left. Those that exist rarely sign any new artists, just the already known ones. Or they sign artists based on their youth, their looks, or their ability to cross over into forms of music that appeal to a wider audience than jazz. Unknown artists rarely perform at any of the hundreds of jazz festivals or larger jazz clubs, which are exactly the places where they would most benefit being heard. New artists who do appear usually are backed by large record companies who influence the Festival to let them perform because of the name artists from that label who are also performing.

It’s like buying shelf space in a grocery store. If you pay enough you can get your product displayed. Doesn’t mean the product is necessarily that good.

Most Festivals are run by people who put profitability first. It’s understandable that they won’t take a risk on unknown artists, no matter how good they are. They want the safe, proven acts. So these days new young jazz artists are forced to produce and record themselves, release their own CD, do their own booking, and hope to work at club gigs that pay them $50-125 a night.

I decided to start this Foundation precisely to work with those lesser known artists, of any age and from any part of the World. However, I must make it clear that I am only looking for the very cream of the talent crop, and my interests are only in the mainstream jazz area, no smooth or contemporary or avant-garde.

I: What are your goals?

G: To capture brilliant, passionate magical moments, that rise above the average jazz heard on most CDs. To document these musicians in audio and video, using the finest equipment. To then issue attractive, professionally designed product as CDs and High Definition Videos of these specially talented artists, for release. To help them obtain performances in Festivals and Concerts. To get their Videos played on worldwide television and the Internet. The Rising Jazz Stars will release on our own CD Label, called Resonance Records, starting in early 2008.

I: What Can you offer the artists whom you choose to work with?

Well, decades of experience as a jazz engineer and producer. The benefit of my history working with many of the seminal talents of modern jazz. The rich experience I derived from being very active in modern jazz during its heydey, as producer, engineer, promoter, and listener. My huge collections of recordings of jazz from that wonderful period, and into the present, which I can instantly refer to.

I know how to get the best out of a jazz musician. First by careful song selection – without commercial consideration. Choosing songs that have enough chordal and harmonic interest so that the musicians can create interesting solos. It’s hard to be consistently creative playing several choruses of a solo based on three or four repeating chords.

As far as originals by the Artist, if they can not write compelling tunes, with the qualities I seek, which include an interesting melody, and innovative chord progressions and rhythms, I prefer not to record those songs. Record companies and the artists may want to record their originals because of publishing revenues, or to placate the artists’s ego in some way. I refuse to make decisions based on those considerations. If an artist, no matter how talented, insists on recording mediocre compositions, which I feel will weaken the overall end result, I would rather not work with him.

Other important areas: Selecting great instruments. We use a Fazioli Grand Piano. It makes a huge difference to the pianist, who actually plays better on such an instrument than on a lesser one. That piano makes every note “sing”. It allows the pianist to be more creative and play anything without limits. With a poorer instrument the artist actually may have to change his technique, such as his touch, to compensate or avoid weaknesses in the sound. Our piano is always tuned before any recording or performance. This may seem obvious, but listen to the thousands of jazz CDs issued with an out of tune piano. It is disrespectful to the musicians.

The atmosphere of the studio and control room are also crucial. We provide a very warm, relaxed setting, with balanced sound. In the control room you can hear a correct sound out of the monitors from anywhere in the room, which has been specially treated. The sounds are recorded with intimacy and fullness.

Respecting the musician. No time constraints. We are capturing moments that we want to be magical. Magic is not easy to create. Knowing when to do another take and when not. Knowing when to stop recording a tune that is not yet jelled and move on, and come back to it later.

We are trying to produce and document a part of the “legacy”” of the artist, a musical painting of a moment in time, that will be viewed as a proud artistic accomplishment of the highest level of the musician’s ability. Not something to satisfy some commercial idea or concept. It may well be that the final product is commercially attractive, but that is not the primary concern.

In planning a project, we take the time to agree on a concept, and choose tunes very carefully. In my mind there should be no weak tunes, no throwaways in any CD. The selection of material has to fit the artist’s style and give a canvas for the widest possible expression of their unique talent and his conception.

We always have to start by establishing mutual respect. If we cannot get there before any deal is made, we should not continue. I want to feel appreciation and respect from any artist for my abilities and philosophy. The artist will always feel my respect because I only take on someone who I believe in, and feel can bring a passion and brilliance to the recording, that will move and excite listeners.

After the musician and I jointly agree on the music and the concept, we choose the musicians to join him. Sometimes the artist already works with the right people. But sometimes, out of loyalty, gratitude, or simple necessity, they are working with players who will bring them down to lower levels. I can’t include those people on the recording. While I am open to anyone, we often work with a small core of superb L.A. musicians for our rhythm sections.

Pianists like Tamir Hendelman, Josh Nelson, John Beasley, Roger Kellaway, and others. There are wonderful bassists and drummers galore, and of course superb horn players in L.A.

Actually, L.A. is the most underrated jazz center in the World. If you look at the Downbeat jazz player polls, year after year, most of the choices are from the East Coast. It’s biased. All I can say is that there are plenty of musicians in L.A. who are equal or superior to most of the non-L.A. choices on that list.

During the recording process, we focus on getting the best performance. I use my 40+ years of jazz listening experience to know when a recording take is “it”. It’s a matter of feel. The players have to lock in together. The passion has to be there. They don’t always know when it happens until after it is over and they can hear it back. It’s almost impossible to get the best when you produce yourself. Having someone you respect in the control room who can listen and compare to a vast listening experience in his mind will result in better choices. That’s one of my main jobs. Also to encourage and praise, or give a coherent, valid opinion on why something sounds better or not as good. That’s what a good jazz producer does.

I also do the engineering, because I want a consistent sound quality. These days it’s easy to get great recorded sounds in the studio. To me, the real art and fun of recording is in the mixing, where you blend it all. I tend to use very little effects and gimmicks. The music speaks for itself, and I try to capture it that way, with clarity.

I use all digital recording but know how to get a very warm digital sound, not harsh. I came from analog, so I know what warmth is. Digital, used correctly, reproduces more accurate low and high end frequencies and transients (attack sounds). I also love how quiet the background is. No hiss. It’s a great medium when used wisely.

Despite having recorded in a studio for about 14 years in the 60-s to early 80’s, I used to believe live performances produced better musical results than in the studio. I think that was because I dealt with so many musicians who came in with small budgets that forced them to finish a recording in one or two days, which rarely allows ideal artistic expression. That was the norm for many major jazz labels – allowing 6-12 hours to record an entire album. Yes it could be done and sometimes quite well, but it could always have been better with more time. Those LP’s usually had some tracks that turned out as “filler quality”, even if not intended to be.

But now, for the first time, having no more restraints in my own mind, I’ve found that if I put all the ingredients together properly in the studio – the right musicians and tunes, and as much time as is needed, I can cook up as good a musical soup as anything performed live, with the obvious advantage of making repeated takes if needed.. After the recording is finished to everyone’s satisfaction, we discuss how it will be released.

I: Since you say that money is no longer your motive, what do you want for yourself out of all this?

G: I want Rising Jazz Stars to get a reputation as an organization to check out, to find the top new talent in mainstream jazz. To clarify, by “new” I mean the process of discovery. Not necessarily “young” new, but someone who is not widely known outside of a small area, or simply deserving of more recognition. As an example of a discovery, take the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, whom I recently recorded.. I have known Claudio for over 30 years and he is, in my humble opinion, as good a jazz trumpeter as anyone playing right now, creatively and technically. However he has never achieved the recognition among the listening public, that he should have. He is practically unknown on the West Coast, and he is also known more for Brazilian jazz than mainstream non-Brazilian. Yet he can play it all.

We want to create what I previously referred to as “legacy” recordings, that will always be available, not cutouts, and that the artist will be proud of for his or her entire life. No artistic compromises. That way, as time passes, and we become known as a place to look for great young talent, I think we can start to get our artists heard, around the world, and placed into Festivals, clubs, and concerts. After all, the real goal of any artist is to be able to perform in front of a audience that wants to listen to him. I see recorded music and video as a means to that end. I do not see it the other way, as many record companies have to, where appearances drive sales of the CD.

But in the end, somebody has to do this- to help these great jazz talents, young or old, to be heard. My personal satisfaction will be many fold- in helping to disseminate more great jazz and encourage artists that there is a way for them to be properly heard and recorded at their best.

And perhaps someday I hope people will, say ” If Rising Jazz Stars puts it out, it’s worth checking out.” We’ll be sort of like a seal of approval. In other words, I would like to develop a type of brand name for new jazz talent.

I: Do you have any other plans besides CDs?

G: Yes we want to do professional video. I believe the future of jazz entertainment lies in well made videos marketed as DVD’s ,on TV, and the Internet. It also helps a booker for a Festival or club to both see and hear the artists live in performance. After all, these days any amateur can make himself sound very good if he knows how to manipulate digital recording and use certain programs such as Melodyne. Bookers who know this will not hire an unknown artist based only on a CD.

We also want to eventually establish our own booking division that places our artists into Festivals and Clubs. Once we have credibility, we believe we can approach these Festivals and ask them to present our artists. I would like to see a Rising Jazz Stars mini-festival within some of the major festivals. We are willing to discuss subsidizing these concerts to some degree, whereby we would supply one of our artists as an opening act of a concert of a well known act, or to a Festival.

I: You say you prefer Mainstream Jazz?

G: Yes, I see my self as a curator of the best jazz from the 1960’s-1970’s That was the time when melodic, creative jazz was encouraged and recorded. After that period, I feel mainstream jazz stagnated. There is some vitality in the newer contemporary and freer forms of jazz, but not nearly as much at this time, in mainstream.

The primary quality I like in jazz is a combination of compositions to play on which contain sufficient melody, harmonies, and creative rhythms, and expressing passion by the artists. I often consult my collection of thousands of songs from the 60’s and 70’s to find interesting material to record. For the performer, having exceptional technical skills is important, as it allows a musician a greater creative area of expression. Often, but not always, my favorite jazz artists do have a lot of technique. Of course, technique used without feeling is mindless and unsatisfactory. Often we see young jazz musicians with monstrous technique who have not learned to harness it, so they splatter it across all their playing. The best ones learn to use it at the right moments.

I: What kind of artists are you choosing to work with?

The mixture of current jazz artists we are working with illustrates our philosophy perfectly:

We are releasing a recording of Andreas Oberg, a young Swedish jazz guitarist who, in my opinion, is poised to become one of the top 5 jazz guitarists in the World. He has all the qualities and tools- conception, blazing technique, sensitivity, and musicality. He is the type of musician that jazz record companies love- because he’s young, and handsome, so they can market that image along with the music.

He happens to write very well, so we included several of his originals, on an album devoted to tunes composed by other great jazz guitarists. Andreas is already making a name for himself in the US as a “gypsy” guitarist, at Django Fests. But I am interested in his mainstream modern jazz style- which is also where he derives the greatest pleasure, and where I feel his true creative potential lies.

Then we are recording an album of music by the great Brazilian composer Djavan. When I was young, I spent a lot of time in Brasil, since part of my family lives there, and I speak the language fluently. I gained a huge appreciation of the music, especially in the 1970’s, when they blended bossa nova and jazz and the great composers such as Ivan Lins, Djavan, and Eggberto

Gismonti were just starting. I am working on this project with San Diego flautist Lori Bell, whom I feel is as good a jazz flautist as anyone playing today. Yet, she is an example of an artist who has labored in obscurity, as far as the National or World jazz scene. Assisting her on the album is one of the finest young jazz pianists – Israeli born Tamir Hendelman, who lives in L.A. He is known for his work with the Jeff Hamilton Trio and the Clayton-Hamilton Band.

Now, regarding Lori Bell- I don’t know how easy it would be for her to get a recording contract as a jazz flautist. First of all – there are precious few of them recording on any labels, and she is not a kid anymore, so the marketing appeal based on youth is not a factor. But my Foundation doesn’t care about those considerations. Our motto is and will be: “It’s about the music!”

In addition, we have completed an album of original music in the form of a suite entitled “Conversations with My Family”, by pianist Mike Garson. Mike is 61 and is primarily known for his work as David Bowie’s keyboard player for over 33 years. He is a Brooklyn, NY native who happens to be a stunning jazz pianist (he played with Freddie Hubbard’s group in the 60’s) with tremendous technique and deep musicality. He is classically trained and also knows how to swing. We commissioned him to write this suite which involves jazz improvisations and classically oriented themes.

Next we are completing a CD with jazz violinist Christian Howes, with arrangements by an old friend of 40+ years, pianist Roger Kellaway. Howes is to me, the best jazz violinist I have ever heard- and I include every one of the great ones all the way to the beginning of modern jazz violin. Yet he is relatively unknown, at the age of 34. Violin is a difficult instrument to become famous on in Jazz- which is a pity because it is one of the most versatile and expressive of all instruments. I am fully confident that Howes will eventually be recognized as the superb musician that he is.

I love jazz vocalists. I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable as to what make s a good singer. I am working with some of the very best- yet all are relatively unknown. Cathy Rocco is a powerful singer in the vein of Nancy Wilson-. She never made a jazz recording in her entire career which has spanned over 30 years. She was part of a two girl group with her sister that performed pop and R&B material. But she is a born jazz singer. So we recorded her, because, while there are plenty of mediocre jazz singers, it’s hard to find really good female (or male) jazz singers and she is one of the best!

Then there’s singer Greta Matassa from Seattle. Greta is a monster. She has such range and effortless ability to sing subtle ballads to roaring blues, with a powerful instrument of a voice. It’s thrilling to work with a talent that can literally sing anything and make it sound amazing. She’s been singing jazz for almost 20 years and is practically unknown outside her home area of Seattle. She’s not the “image” that jazz record companies seek today. They want the 20 year olds or a Nora Jones or Diana Krall type. I could care less about that when I select a singer. I just want it all- great instrument, great voice, great technique, and originality, plus lots of jazz feeling. Greta has all that -in spades.

I: Do you think you can make any money at all with this non-commercial type of philosophy?

G: I don’t know if we can. I don’t think most people or companies can make a satisfactory profit with jazz. It is a special art form and the World audience is very small at this time. But if we can sell enough to break even, that would be acceptable. Our main goal is to help our artists become known. If we can be the place that people look for new talent, then we are successful.

I: What is the best way for anyone to learn more about Resonance Records and the Rising Jazz Stars?

G: They can visit our web site at where they can read artist bios and watch video interviews, listen to 2 minute samples of new releases, purchase CDs, and download tracks. Whenever they purchase our products, they are making a donation to the parent company, Rising Jazz Stars, a 501 c3 tax deductible organization, and supporting our goal to bring them more new and exciting jazz talent. They can also email me at

I: Anything else you want to say?

G: I think I’ve pretty much explained it all.

I: Thanks, George