Division

If a human life is one whole unit of the measurement of time then we’re all engaged in the process of division.  We make choices almost every second as regards how we’re spending our time. Divide your seconds, your minutes, your hours, your days, your weeks, your months and your years into the subunits you want to result in the greatest sum upon your death. Death is not to be feared but rather marked as the end of the time you have to divide. The sum of time spent with or thinking about family and friends. The sum of time spent thinking about and acting to help others. The sum of time spent creating.  The sum of time spent thinking about and acting to earn money. And please don’t forget the sum of time for fun.  May we humbly suggest playing a vinyl record and studying the packaging art?  An unpretentious record which will entertain you and make you feel good?  Click on the tab for products for sale on this site and keep clicking and dividing during the wait until Steve Wilson’s Sit Back, Relax & Unwind lp is in your possession. Play. Repeat. Play. Repeat. And you thought math was always going to be annoying?  Divide.  

Antero Sievert

JMI is excited to announce we have signed Olympia, Washington resident Antero Sievert to a recording deal.  Mr. Sievert was born 21 years ago in Valencia, Spain’s third largest city.  The New York Times wrote of Valencia :

For hundreds of years, people in and around the city have formed symphonic brass bands. Children grow up learning to dance the jota and boleros and to play works by Mozart and Stravinsky, with flamenco coursing through their veins as well. Bordering the Mediterranean on Spain’s east coast, Valencia has long been the nexus of Western, African, Hispanic and South American cultures, the various musical traditions blending with the local.

In recent years, this city of about 800,000 has had an infusion of fresh sounds with the establishment, in 2011, of the first international campus of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The campus set up state-of-the-art facilities in Santiago Calatrava’s soaring City of Arts and Sciences complex. It was a marriage made in music heaven.

A whole new music scene has since developed, merging the city’s musicians with students from all over the world. Visitors are finding many more concerts to attend, more bars and clubs in which to hear music and a generally more artistic and youthful vibe. Valencia is turning into a university town, with the emphasis on music, and it may be one of the few Spanish cities that is now more vital than it was five years ago.

“What’s happening here is what’s next musically,” said Brian Cole, dean of academic affairs at Berklee Valencia, over lunch in the city [in 2014].. “The area has a completely musical population.”

Mr. Sievert, born to a Peruvian father and Texan mother, moved to Austin as a child where he learned the piano.  Now a senior at Evergreen State College, he came to our attention on late night Instagram live video streams.  His ethereal tone on piano, all long delicate fingers and bristling solo ideas virtually screamed that his is a major voice with which to be reckoned. Nominally a solo-piano effort, Mr. Sievert’s JMI debut, titled _The Underscore after his Instagram handle _antero, will feature original compositions and arrangements including strings, trombone and percussion, the latter one of Mr. Sievert’s other talents.  

We will be gleefully updating our plans with Mr. Sievert as the ideas flow.  We can’t wait to see how this scene continues to play out. Welcome to the JMi family Mr. Sievert. 

Won’t you sign on the dotted line

We have agreed to terms to record the JMI debut by a musician making his professional recording debut.  Our new artist is a 21 year-old college senior who now lives in the Pacific Northwestern part of the United States but he’s lived all over and hails from a background rich with South American and European music and influences. We will be providing a full bio and picture soon.  Recording will be at Reservoir Studio in NYC with an invitation-only live gig shortly before the recording and the dates will be posted in our important dates section of this site.  We are beyond excited to showcase this incredible young talent and make a classic press of JMI vinyl. 

Great Debate

There is a high probability that human lives only allot a finite amount of time.  For music fans that time may be roughly divided into two categories: collection and analysis.  Collection may refer to the time spent seeking and acquiring new music.  Analysis may refer to the time spent listening.  The smaller quantity of music to which a person listens, the better that person may appreciate it, picking up new things with repeated listens to the same music, especially music produced with such repetitive listening in mind.  However, the more music a person collects, the more different music a person may learn.  How a music aficionado divides her or his time reveals a lot about the core of their interest in music and even about larger aspects of their personality.  What kind of music fan are you?  What kind of person are you?

Spreading the gospel

Organic chemistry is a subject most people avoid. Except for would-be doctors and science aficionados, no one sees much of a need to know about elements and their combinations which explain life and Inamimate objects. But the effects music can have are a form of organic chemistry. Most music fans are familiar with the changes in mood produced by listening to certain songs or albums, from a simple mood change to a life changing course adjustment. So what is the  organic chemistry which makes up the transformative power of music? 

Oh, you were waiting for a logical, interesting answer? We don’t have one. We don’t know shit about organic chemistry either. Now get outta here knucklehead and go buy a Steve Wilson lp.  Buy it for yourself, for those times you just don’t know what to do. When such a time arises, play the record, hold the jacket and sleeve and read the text and look at the beautiful pictures. Smell the inside of the jacket, that heady mix of cardboard and vinyl. If at the end of the 38 minutes or so you haven’t experienced a change or been entertained email us, we’ll talk. 

Realistic A&R

Back in the days when the record business was profitable based on sales of physical records, labels invested money and time in grooming not only artists, but executives responsible for selecting those artists and the songs, or repertoire they would record. That position has largely gone by the wayside where cutting costs triumphs over long term artistic legacy. Well, as we hope we made clear elsewhere on this site, other internet posts and most of all our recorded output, we value legacy over all. So, we are proud and pleased to announce that we have agreed to hire artist and repertoire representative Robby Alexander Finkelstein. Mr. Finkelstein, a student at Valencia College in Florida, is also a powerful instagram presence with his Rewind Hour and Robtherealest accounts which are part of the Chatting With Suga network started and sanctioned by our own label owner Suga Steve Mandel. As you may see in the thumbnail photo with this post, Rob has a deep background in music production since at least the age of 14, when he believed he needed to use each finger on a different fader of his control desk. Believe us, he’s learned a lot since then. Welcome Rob and we look forward to your first signing.  

The sound waves

Recently we had a listen to the all-analog lp Steve Wilson Sit Back, Relax & Unwind with Mr. Wilson himself.  It was the first time he experienced listening to it on vinyl (as opposed to the tape playbacks at recording session).  He said it was the first time he ever liked hearing himself play on one of his recordings.  He also said it made him feel like he was a kid again listening to music at his parents’ house. The experience got us back to the drawing board of trying to describe what is so special about non-digital recordings.  Here goes : on all analog the sound waves coming out of the speakers produce a vibration which causes a slight physical sensation in the ears and throughout your whole body which leaves you microscopically but physically moved by the end of an album. No? We will try again in a little while no doubt. In the meantime, listen to the lp and feel the sound waving. 

Hocking lugies

The music we make and the digital media we use are deliberately provocative.  We want you to react and when you do, good, bad, but not indifferent, we have succeeded.  That success is diluted by impurities introduced outside the very tight JMI structure. Even a great financial success would be a failure of the JMI aesthetic if it were achieved in association with people or entities outside JMI. We are constructing a monument to our insularity, like the companies and people we most admire. Thanks for observing our ride but please don’t break our stride. 

Heart of Glass

Philip Glass’ “song” 4’33”, whose chart instructed the musician to not play their instrument for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, is today’s JMI crush.  The intended enjoyment from the performance of the song consisted of listening to audience and ambient noise for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.  This kind of originality,  bravery and dare-we-say challenge of the audience is something for which we strive at the label.  If you think you’re the next Philip Glass we want to record you. 

Jazz A Geddon It

Ray Angry took a giant step toward his rightful place as one of the rising stars of jazz by leading 3 nights at NYC’s Blue Note Club.  Everyone who knows Ray knows he can play with anyone but what we found out last week is that his original compositions stand up and supersede even the best standards and new classics when played live.  And, he’s a super entertainer and leader by example even when thrown in the deep end with the heaviest of jazz heavyweights.    The sky is no limit for Ray and we can’t wait to showcase his JMI lp debut Ray Angry One later this year and promote his live performances celebrating its release.  We promise no more all-star shenanigans, just the world-class quintet which recorded One.  

2018

Although we abhor most traditions we also like to understand how it feels to embrace them so without further adieu here is a list of things we resolve in 2018:

1. Spread as much love and empathy as we can by insuring as many people as possible listen to Steve Wilson Sit Back, Relax & Unwind;

2. Press Ray Angry One;

3.  Record at least one new lp;

and finally 4. Make sure everyone in our lives knows how much we love them and that we understand how imperfect and even maddening we can be but that we are trying our best. JMI: we always try. 

Themes

Quincy Jones wrote the theme song to Sanford & Son.  Harry Nilsson wrote the theme song to The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and John Sebastian wrote the theme song to Welcome Back Kotter.  With today’s explosion of high quality television on cable, streaming and even network, there would seem to be a need for equally high quality music.  That’s where we come in.  We’ve got a few choice cuts from Steve Wilson’s Sit Back, Relax & Unwind and Ray Angry One which would fit any project.  You know where to reach us with your inquiries and offers. 

Expect not expectorate

We come now to write about the value of expectations.  When you expect morality, goodness and love you have a better chance of getting them.  If you expect greed, selfishness and hate you have a better chance of getting them too.  Not wanting to expect a lot to prevent disappointment is fear-based cowardice.  Let’s hold each other and ourselves to the highest standards possible.  It’s okay to fail.  It’s not okay not to try.  JMI: why not try?

 

Thanksgiving

We love the idea of giving thanks.  We love the idea of a holiday not tied to religion.  We love reuniting with family, blood or chosen.  We don’t love the massacre of sentient beings for unnecessary consumption with bad environmental results. Think for yourselves this holiday;  Apparently our most popular victims will be doing the same. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/release/2003/11/osu-animal-scientist-debunks-dumb-turkey-myth

Sunday morning in mid November

Everyday we keep it spontay.  

Every day we listen to musicay.  

Every day a new record steals our heart.  Every day we make a fresh start. We’re the company that doesn’t sleep.  The company you wanna keep.  The fresh vinyl sound, making the rounds, we find a home then we burrow deep.  

And then there was love

We come now not to criticize but to praise. Praise the best instincts and selfless help others give. Praise the beauty which exists in prosaic moments.  Praise the music which moves us to think, mostly about the impractical, The dreams which may be made real. Click us a line and tell us what you think.  

Hang on tightly, let go lightly

We are pleased to announce that JMI Recordings artist Ray Angry has made a deal for digital release of non-album tracks drawn from the recording session of upcoming JMI lp Ray Angry One. Although we previously discounted digital music experiences as inauthentic and degrading to true music we have had our eyes opened by the spirit and technology of the good folks at Oiids, a Norwegian company with a slick yet heartfelt Nordic approach. Oiids produced the wildly successful Esperanza Spalding project where the gifted musician (aided by Mr. Angry) created a studio album live on video over 77 consecutive hours.  The good Nords then introduced us to their application which will allow users to isolate individual elements of recordings and unique additional content which more than makes up for the lack of analog humanity. Full disclosure : the owners of this label do not see ourselves as big consumers of the Oiids product because of the exclusionary purity of our love for Lps but if digital music is your thing, Oiids is the place and we wish them a ton of success with Ray's cover of Bjork's All is Full of Love with Kendra Foster on vocals and Ray's own composition Gamma Ray, a truncated version of which will appear on Ray Angry One. To paraphrase the Talking Heads, "This ain't no streaming, this ain't no download, this ain't no fooling around". 

Oiids.com for more info. 

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What's the matter with me

What's the matter with me
I don't have much to say
Daylight sneakin' through the window
And I'm still in this all-night cafe
Walkin' to and fro beneath the moon
Out to where the trucks are rollin' slow
To sit down on this bank of sand
And watch the river flow

Wish I was back in the city
Instead of this old bank of sand
With the sun beating down over the chimney tops
And the one I love so close at hand
If I had wings and I could fly
I know where I would go
But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly
And watch the river flow

People disagreeing on all just about everything, yeah
Makes you stop and all wonder why
Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street
Who just couldn't help but cry
Oh, this ol' river keeps on rollin', though
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow
And as long as it does I'll just sit here
And watch the river flow

People disagreeing everywhere you look
Makes you want to stop and read a book
Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street
That was really shook
But this ol' river keeps on rollin', though
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow
And as long as it does I'll just sit here
And watch the river flow

Watch the river flow
Watchin' the river flow
Watchin' the river flow
But I'll sit down on this bank of sand
And watch the river flow

All evidence to the contrary

If you're going to get frustrated with lack of recognition your motives aren't pure enough.  Indeed the longer your efforts go unrecognized the longer opportunity you have to test your belief. It is a blessing to test yourself against hatred or even worse, apathy. The greater the illogic and conventional failure of your venture the greater achievement is its persistence.  Have a great day the JMI way, by listening to the music of your heart.