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The Launch of a New Jazz Label: A Conversation with Legendary Carl Griffin

What’s it like to launch a new jazz recording label?
A conversation with
Legendary three-time Grammy award winning record producer Carl Griffin
By
Doug Hall

In the Brave New World of digital music, streaming radio stations and instant access, Carl Griffin has some tried and true lessons in a music recording industry in which he has signed and produced new talent for years. A resume that includes 15 years as Senior VP of A&R Records and the promotion & marketing of GRP Records, a standard-setting quality output of contemporary jazz music and artists who remain household names today (Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, David Sanborn, Arturo Sandoval, Joe Sample, The Crusaders, The Rippingtons and more). Enter ALFi Records, where Mr. Griffin is now Senior VP, teamed with founder Albare (Albert Dadon) virtuoso jazz guitarist, songwriter, producer and music promoter from Australia. Together they’ve launched their new jazz label, like “taking a plunge in a pool where you know the water is cool” Albare reflects, “Eventually you just jump in.”

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King Eider- Edinburgh, Scotland

KingEider

We cannot get this song off repeat. Blues has found a home in our hearts these days. It fills a space missing in music of today. King Eider hits the nail on the head delivering a stellar mix of folk and blues. On their way to Glastonbury this weekend, we caught them for a piece of insight.

Folk has the storytelling feel of songs for the people while blues reaches deeper into the emotional psyche.

From Busking to Glasto. what is the most valuable lesson you have learned along the way?

Our advice to any up-and-coming acts is just get out there, don’t turn down gigs that you might not think can help you because you never know who will show up to them! We think that is the most valuable lesson. We busked near Green park, only to be thrown out for lack of a license, and subsequently ended up on BBC Radio London which has led us to countless opportunities. Whether that is busking before a gig to warm up or playing a gig at a venue you know will give you a drum kit with bailing twine holding it together, you just never know what can happen. It always amazes us that some bands get an ego before they have anything to be arrogant about.

What do you hope fans take from your music?

We hope that fans of our music will see that we want to write songs that take you on both a lyrical journey and a musical one. We want to trigger emotional responses as well as an impression that we have made an effort to be different and have our own musical style that you will know when you hear it; for it’s uniqueness, not it’s comparability to other bands. There are too many bands trying to replicate bands on the scene already and it seems a waste to emulate something already out there. Above though, we want them to enjoy it and get that hook stuck in their head for the rest of the day (in a good way!).

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Driving into the weekend.

‘I find my greatest purpose in life is when I am completely lost in Musc‘- Flea

Forever rocking out to The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Did you know Anthony Kiedis was babysat by Cher?

A great concept of today for fans to get to know musicians. Interviewing musicians is not always found on late night television.

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Recording yesterday vs today

Legendary Recording Engineer Al Schmitt keeps things real and re-discovers the simplicity and imperfections in music.

Well worth a watch.

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