SEA BRIGHT, NJ, June 9, 2000.
It has been a year now since 1201 Music Inc., located in Sea Bright, has been issuing some of the finest jazz music around. But it was only recently that the company has garnered some of its most significant successes: just before Christmas, Denny Jiosa placed himself with his 'Among Friends' release into the top 22 chart position in the national Gavin radio charts, only to be followed by Dan Moretti's successful 'December Solstice' recording. And Joe Augustine's February release 'License To Groove', became nationally the 'Highest Debut' record climbing fast to the top 16 position in the national radio charts, with over 200 radio stations playing his record. Only then to find himself at chart position #15 in JAZZIZ Magazine (May), a nationally acclaimed publication on jazz.
Not bad for an independent label.
And how can a small jazz label exist in a market, where only 4 competitors of the likes of Universal, Sony, BMG, Time Warner/EMI control 90% market share?
'The internet had a profound impact on the way we do business and how business operations interact' says 1201 Music President, Achim Neumann. 'Our producers are located in Nashville, Boston and Oregon, working with our art department in Hermitage (TN). Our manufacturing plant is located in Nashville, shipping to our warehouse operations in Portland (OR), with about 15 sales people located nationally in various cities selling to accounts like Tower, Musicland or Barnes & Noble, to mention a few.'
'All parties interact via e-mail or internet based communication,' explains Neumann. 'For example, a new CD cover design is developed in Hermitage, send via e-mail to Sea Bright, forwarded to the respective artist for approval, and then downloaded into the printing facility in Nashville'.
And what about internet CD sales to the consumer? 'We leave that to the Amazons of this world - we focus on production and promotion of a music label operation,' says Neumann, 'although we do operate a website at www.1201music.com with selected sound samples, artist and touring information to keep our customers informed about current and upcoming releases.' The company's current roster of artists includes names like Joe Augustine, Denny Jiosa or Blue Knights, and most recently, the company resigned Dancing Fantasy, who left one of the major labels. But the company also releases recordings by Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sidney Bechet, or Ben Webster. The May releases will include Sonny Stitt, Cecil Taylor, Nat King Cole, and a special gem: a flamenco / world music release by Obo, 'Bossarosa', compiling the best of his recordings for the past 15 years.
'Our roster currently includes 75 recordings and we are growing by 35 releases each year,' says Neumann, who has contributed to reports in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, or Downbeat Magazine, to name a few. ' We are always looking for talent and have been blessed to find the right combination in the past. We hope to continue this success in the future.'
And to underscore its drive for innovation, the company recently completed a B-to-B e-commerce deal with musicmaker.com which will make the entire 1201 music catalog available via the internet for individual song downloads, so that a jazz fan can actually buy individual songs instead of an entire CD. Just another step by an independent music label to stay competitive !