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Jazzee Blue

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Jazzee Blue

Post by ace of hearts » 25 Feb 2015, 17:52

I thought I would do a Google of Jazzee Blue as Chris still wore the logo when I went to see him at Sheffield last December. I'm not sure which label the La Passione earbook is coming out on, but in usual style the website www.jazzeeblue.com just has the logo, and the company is still active last filing account in February this year.
http://www.datalog.co.uk/browse/detail. ... DS+LIMITED
I'm really hoping for news soon as I thought Feb was the aimed release date. ?
could this be true, could this be me..

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by ann268 » 25 Feb 2015, 18:27

Hi Ace of Hearts

That last link is interesting, Jazzee Blue has been a compagny since 1995, almost 20 years!
And still waiting for news...it will come.
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by andrew fischer » 26 Feb 2015, 08:58

Hi Anneke and others,

Jazzee Blue was found as a registered company right after Chris purchased Sol Mill property from Jimmy Page back in 1995 when he was recovering after his late 1994 illness and operations. Joan, Chris's wife is registered as the co-founder of the company.

My assumptions, based on what Chris had been saying in different interviews in late 90s, are that he wished to move away from the mainstream/pop-oriented music much earlier than he eventually did (in 2001) and to provide himself with nesessary freedom, Jazzee Blue was supposed to become his own label, independent from Warner or any other major record company. It happened this way after all, but much later than Chris wanted it to, so Jazzee Blue only became acitve after 6 years of existence.

This delay was mainly due to La Passione financial flop, and as Chris said in the interview to Vox magazine in 1998, «I've been a naughty boy with La Passione and had my bottom smacked, now it's just 'Give us what we f**king know...'»

Chris also mentions that The Blue Café was intitially supposed to be a blues album, and also there were 3 more album projects shelved in late 90's, one of which is told to have been a hip hop project (part of which we can assumingly hear on The Road to Hell part II album).

Chris also mentions his intention to form a group called The Fireflies in an interview back in 1999 (next time he said that in 2005).

Saying all that, I mean that we could have met Chris's blues era some years earlier than 2002, and then we could have never heard The Blue Café, The Road to Hell part II and King of the Beach albums, at least in that form we all know.

It is sad that Jazzee Blue stopped active work as the record label in 2007. Chris once said that it was only agreed to give it a try for a 5-year period. So, in 2008, major label came back - Rhino, a part of Warner group.

Hope this text was useful,

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Andrey
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by ace of hearts » 26 Feb 2015, 11:45

Thanks Andrey. I think I read somewhere about his re-signing to Warner not so long back hence re issues of older albums.
Jazzee was good at not just publishing his own music, but that of others like Robert and Sylvan. I also own the Brilliant Album by Sarah Randle - 'The sparrow'. Whatever happened to her.?

What is interesting is that while the mammoth Blue Guitars ear book was issued by Edel Records, Hofner Blue Notes bore the Edel, Rhino and Jazzee Blue logo while the last project Santo Spirito Blues Bore just Jazzee Blue and Rhino logo's.
It seems the Jazzee Blue label is alive and well.
could this be true, could this be me..

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by andrew fischer » 26 Feb 2015, 11:59

Hi Ace of Hearts,

I do not think Chris resigned to Warner, I assume he has been just negotiating with them regarding the copyrights for the original La Passione materials.

On the contrary, it was reported that Chris signed to a Dutch-based independent label, Imagem, it was already discussed here: http://chrisrea.nl/community/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2712

I also really liked each and every album release on Jazzee Blue label (Guitars Unlimited, Sarah, Sylvin, Robert) and by "stopping active work as record label" I meant it is no longer a fully independent label, but a company which works under control of larger publishers - Rhino, Navybeck or Edel. Edel has been the partner of Jazzee Blue for European mainland's market and I think this cooperation will continue. I think the new release will bear Jazzee Blue and Imagem labels, while all the reissues are still published by Warner divisions.

Hope that helps
best regards
Andrey
Last edited by andrew fischer on 27 Feb 2015, 11:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by ace of hearts » 26 Feb 2015, 12:14

Thanks, found his artist page at Imagem http://uk.imagemmusic.com/artist-uk.html?a_id=27

Still nothing new there though.
could this be true, could this be me..

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by jlandon033 » 28 Feb 2015, 23:35

Hello all,

This is a very interesting link. The dynamics of the relationship between a record to company and the artists to find a proper balance in which an artist can follow his art vs. what the record company wants must be a real tight rope walk. That certainly seems to be the case for Chris Rea his entire career. It hasn't only happened to Chris but it happens to guys like Clapton too. The other day I was reading an article where Eric's record company didn't care for his first offering of the record Behind The Sun so they asked him to record some more tracks written by a specific songwriter (Jerry Williams). It seems the more Chris has striven to record exactly what he wants the more sporadic the releases have been. Take a look at the last 10 years since Blue Guitars. The output is miniscule - 2005 Blue Guitars, 2008 Fabulous Hofner, 2011 Santo Spirito. Granted the releases have a massive amount of content but the time in between in massive. We are now growing on 3.5 years since Santo was released. After Chris releases the La Passione box set I wish he would go back his old way of working. His releases are becoming evermore idiosyncratic with every release in my opinion. I'm not sure why Chris no longer finds it interesting to make a cd of 10 really goods songs, that have a cohesive theme, with top notch musicians, and that are labored over to execute a top notch sound. Frankly I think Chris could stand to start using an outside producer again to bring some fresh musical ideas to the table.

Just one massive Chris Rea fan's opinion...

Joe

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by andrew fischer » 03 Mar 2015, 10:06

Hi Joe,

it is always a great pleasure to read your posts written with much thought and soul put in them.

I do agree with you on most issues arisen in your message.

I must admit I am not absolutely satisfied with Chris's latest releases (and their frequency), especially when it comes to instrumentation and sound engineering. I got tired of Chris's excessive use of self-played synthesizers and drum-machines with a striking lack of real musicians/instruments involved and the underproduction of his latest records and also poor sound engineering.

It all started when Chris split up with Warner and all the production was no longer sponsored but was all on himself. Okay, Stony Road and Blue Jukebox sound quality and instrumentation is very good. Jazzee Blue 2003 series, Blue Guitars and Hofner book are praiseworthy, but these records really lack real instruments/musicians involvement and good sound engineering. Sometimes I really can't bear listening to all these poorly recorded synths and machines, especially when I use my top notch stereo. Even The Blue Cafe, King of the Beach and The Road to Hell Part II pop-oriented albums, with their deliberate focus on electronic arrangement, sound far better and more harmonic/holistic.

I can understand why Chris moved away from releasing 'ordinary' mainstream/pop-oriented albums, he just got tired of this over the years of dictation by Magnet and Warner, and he spoke about it back yet in mid 90s. Very good example with Clapton's Behind the Sun, this is what Chris had been long fighting with. What I can't understand is why he keeps ignoring the real need in good instrumentation/engineering/production of his box-set records. If he cannot find enough money to make them sound impeccable which he had always trying to reach (and was famous for this perfection), then really why not pick up the best sounding tunes and deliver a good single CD release? Okay, no longer does he want to be a pop musician, but it does not mean he may get away with poor recording quality (of great songs).

Moreover, I do not consider 2008 Hofner book and 2011 Santo Spirito really huge projects in comparison with Blue Guitars: in fact, the only really fresh material in 2008 book is the instrumental CD/vinyls, while other 2 CDs seem to me the leftovers from Blue Guitars and in my opinion bring nothing idiosyncratic to this project but make it (seemingly) larger and more attractive to general public which is not enthusiastic with buying a single CD of odd instrumental music. The same with Santo Spirito: films and their soundtracks are great, but the CD with songs is an absolute flop in my opinion, same old recurring themes recorded in only 4 days just to fit in with the commercial demands of Rhino records. It is good that at least Chris invited Jon Kelly (his producer/engineer in 1981-91) to help him finalize Santo Spirito: somebody found enough courage to tell Chris that his most recent works did not sound good enough...

Just like the previous comment, simply one massive Chris Rea fan's opinion...

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Andrey
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by Müfo » 03 Mar 2015, 12:40

I Think it´s not a matter of money. You can do excellent sounding productions with very low budget these days...Probably he simply wants to sound it that way?! The biggest problem i.m.o. is the bad drum sound which sound like a cheap drum machine from the early 80ies..but in all likelyhood its Chris himself who plays the real drums?! :? For example: I love ,,Cry for home"...the melody, the atmosphere, the guitar, the way he sings...its all that Chris Rea which I like best..but I sadly cant hear it because of the `poor`drum-style

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by andrew fischer » 03 Mar 2015, 13:25

Müfo wrote:I Think it´s not a matter of money. You can do excellent sounding productions with very low budget these days...Probably he simply wants to sound it that way?! The biggest problem i.m.o. is the bad drum sound which sound like a cheap drum machine from the early 80ies..but in all likelyhood its Chris himself who plays the real drums?! :? For example: I love ,,Cry for home"...the melody, the atmosphere, the guitar, the way he sings...its all that Chris Rea which I like best..but I sadly cant hear it because of the `poor`drum-style
Hi Müfo and thanks for your comments,

I can't agree with you on the reasons you mentioned and still consider it is lack of money he can (wants to) spend on proper sound engineering and production, inlcuding (session) musicians involved, hence all these self-recorded home-made works with poor sound quality and heap of cheap electronics.

I can understand that Chris may want a record to sound "cheaply made" as if it was recorded in 60's, like with some Blue Guitars CDs and The Delmonts instrumentals. But if he had wanted all his records to sound in a way like this, then he should have got rid of all the electronics which did not exist or were too expensive to use in those good old days!

Usually musicians record early demo versions of their songs with most of the instruments played by themselves alone and after that they call on the band, the producers, the sound engineers, etc. For some reason Chris simply does not want to go further than to deliver these self-made demos and I really doubt he does it for an ideological reason. This all reminds me of his 1983 Water Sign album which is in fact a collection of demos with a heap of synths and drum machines recorded by Chris alone, with quite a few other musicians. Magnet records simply did not wish to spend any money on proper production of those demos, and Chris himself did not have any money for that either; he owed Magnet over 300.000 GBP by that time as he recalls in an interview. I assume the situation is more or less the same again, but now that Chris is all on his own.

Unlike you, I suffer most from cheap synthesized strings sounds and brass imitations on Chris's latest records, drums are more or less okay for me. And yes, Chris does play drums himself actively since Stony Road! You can see him play drums in Stony Road documentary (see sceenshot below), he also claimed to play drums on Robert Ahwai's Trinidad album, and I am pretty sure he frequently used his drummer's skills on his latest records.

Image

best wishes
Andrey
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by MRB » 04 Mar 2015, 09:28

well, I would also love to hear music made with tight band and no electronics, would be great if the songs would be recorded mostly on live in the studio with minimal overdubs.

all the drum machines and other sounds made by computers should be banned for good!

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by andrew fischer » 04 Mar 2015, 10:00

MRB wrote:well, I would also love to hear music made with tight band and no electronics, would be great if the songs would be recorded mostly on live in the studio with minimal overdubs. And all the drum machines and other sounds made by computers should be banned for good!
Hi MRB, I do agree with you, but to my mind there is nothing bad about digital sound processors and drum machines, but they have to be used "to the point", for souitable cases. E.g., I really love sampled guitars on the Blue Cafe and The Road to Hell Part II albums and heavy drum machines in such tracks as Funk 48, Clarkson Blues, and songs from Texas Blues or Latin Blues Cds from Blue Guitars. I consder they are "right there". But sometimes the drum machines really "do not quite belong" to such tunes as Only to Fly, Thinking of You and some others.

I do not like the excessive elextronic substitutions of real keyboards, strings and brass instruments, which are all over Blue Guitars, Hofner book and Santo Spirito, as if Chris simply didnot want to hire a salaried keyboardist with a violin or/and brass section for his studio records.

Thanks for your comments and best regards
Andrey
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by MRB » 04 Mar 2015, 10:10

I disagree, real drummer is always best and the real deal.

Sometimes I go nuts with myself thinking how great he would sound when the music would be done with the real deal roots musicians and instruments :) I mean with that kind approach he would even make a commercial comeback by getting huge reviews by music magazines and other medias. I mean it would also be a move no one could see it coming.

i think even stony road album is partly over produced.
andrew fischer wrote:
MRB wrote:well, I would also love to hear music made with tight band and no electronics, would be great if the songs would be recorded mostly on live in the studio with minimal overdubs. And all the drum machines and other sounds made by computers should be banned for good!
Hi MRB, I do agree with you, but to my mind there is nothing bad about digital sound processors and drum machines, but they have to be used "to the point", for souitable cases. E.g., I really love sampled guitars on the Blue Cafe and The Road to Hell Part II albums and heavy drum machines in such tracks as Funk 48, Clarkson Blues, and songs from Texas Blues or Latin Blues Cds from Blue Guitars. I consder they are "right there". But sometimes the drum machines really "do not quite belong" to such tunes as Only to Fly, Thinking of You and some others.

I do not like the excessive elextronic substitutions of real keyboards, strings and brass instruments, which are all over Blue Guitars, Hofner book and Santo Spirito, as if Chris simply didnot want to hire a salaried keyboardist with a violin or/and brass section for his studio records.

Thanks for your comments and best regards
Andrey

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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by ann268 » 04 Mar 2015, 10:26

Hi guys,

I still believe it's not about the money, he doesn't want to go back the way it used to be...
He made two jewels of music on the movies on Santo Spirito. Absolutly perfect guitar playing. The one CD with commercial stuff were mostly old ones in a new jacket. Some are good, but a bit sloppy.
The movie music does sound better produced! Somewhere between the stars is quite good. I think that is what he would make now. He is 64 by now, today! Idon't think he will ever be commercial again.
Just freedom of making music his way. And he doesn't care what we say.
Just my thought.
Ann
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Re: Jazzee Blue

Post by MRB » 04 Mar 2015, 10:28

by commercial, I mean that his music would get back in charts just because of the organic and honest music, not any trends following chart BS :)
ann268 wrote:Hi guys,

I still believe it's not about the money, he doesn't want to go back the way it used to be...
He made two jewels of music on the movies on Santo Spirito. Absolutly perfect guitar playing. The one CD with commercial stuff were mostly old ones in a new jacket. Some are good, but a bit sloppy.
The movie music does sound better produced! Somewhere between the stars is quite good. I think that is what he would make now. He is 64 by now, today! Idon't think he will ever be commercial again.
Just freedom of making music his way. And he doesn't care what we say.
Just my thought.
Ann

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