Jazz Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

January 10, 2011

Jazz Makes It To iTunes LP

I'm ok with the digital age of music that's upon us. I haven't yet fully gravitated to it for Jazz yet. I still rip all my CDs and digitize LPs for use on the ole' iPod, but I still need the artifact, liner notes, pictures, a physical sense to go along with the album. In Fall 2009, Apple launched a new digital concept called iTunes LP. The idea is to bring a more interactive, multi-sensory experience for customers. Offering images, videos, and other bonus materials.

In comes Nu Jazz Entertainment. An audio and video content producer specializing in Jazz in this new digital age. On January 4th, NJE released
Ellis Marsalis: An Open Letter To Thelonious as the first iTunes LP in the Jazz genre. Promo video here. Press info below:
The iTunes “LP” Ellis Marsalis: An Open Letter To Thelonious (Platinum Edition) will retail for $15.98 and features the (11) eleven original tracks on the album, (3) bonus audio tracks, and (4) bonus high-definition video tracks, bonus photographs from the Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection™ and the Marsalis Family Archives™,Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of An American Original by Robin D.G. Kelley. bonus liner notes, and bonus literary content from the award-winning book

Included as the bonus video tracks are: Marsalis Family: First Family of Jazz ( a discussion by Ellis of how his family got their start playing music); Musings On Monk: The Inspiration Behind An Open Letter To Thelonious (A discussion by Jason Marsalis & Ellis Marsalis of what lead them to pursue the current project); and Ellis Marsalis: My Life In My Words (a video autobiography of Ellis’ life in jazz). Interlaced in the videos are intimate family photographs of the Marsalis‘ throughout the years – Ellis as a young musician and educator, Branford Marsalis & Wynton Marsalis -- from toddlers through high school, Delfeayo Marsalis on stage, and Jason perfecting his skills as an up & coming drummer.

The interactive experience brought to you through the new “LP” format offers a different approach to enjoying the music. You can watch as a master educator shares his insights, read the liner notes or hear them read by the author, view the never before seen photographs, learn the etymology and history of the songs performed or enjoy the stories that give insight into the creation of a living legend in jazz.
My guess is this content will seem pretty straight ahead, any fan of the Ken Burns Series will probably dig on this. I feel the idea of the iTunes LP has been a missed opportunity for Jazz labels. I'd like to see some serious content by Prestige, Impulse, Blue Note, Columbia, Atlantic in the iTunes LP format. To younger generations, the idea of owning a CD or Record is becoming more foreign and if this modern "LP" format is used properly, it could offer some serious historic content that's worth paying for and consuming hard drive space. I know there could be many road blocks -- rights and reproduction issues, paying someone to produce all this, etc. etc. -- but I still like to gripe.

Thoughts on the iTunes LP format?


Happy New Year... I have received some great albums recently and hope to post about them soon.

No comments: