As a label owner I think a lot about the future presentation of recorded music and how it will be made available to the consumer. It has been discussed a lot on www.vancouverjazz.com
in the forum and comes up a lot in conversations with musicians. I wouldn’t go so far as to call trumpeter Dave Douglas a pioneer of the digital music movement but he has done some wonderful things with his site www.greenleafmusic.com. The site is amazing and in an unprecedented move he made available a whole week of music that his quintet recorded live at The Jazz Standard
in New York City. You could by the whole week of music (14 sets) for something like $70, specific songs for $0.99 each or you could buy sets for something like $9.99. Very very cool. I purchased 2 sets of music and enjoyed them both very much. Douglas has said that this has been an extremely successful endeavour and has produced solid financial results. I was very perplexed however when about 2 months ago I received an email from Greenleaf stating that due to the overwhelming request for ‘physical’ product, they would be releasing a double CD consisting of selections from the week. More importantly they would be sending it free of charge to those who bought more than a sets worth of music. Dave Douglas has a ton of fans! Like, I mean a lot! Im sure thousands purchased some downloads. The shipping alone would be a huge expense, not to mention the production costs of the CDs. A fantastic move by the Greenleaf team! Check it out on their site.
Now, this is not based on fact but I would suspect that Dave Douglas’ music appeals to a younger generation of jazz fans. A generation that is more willing and also more capable of downloading music. If these fans are still requesting physical product then it can only be a good thing! I think the CD will be kept alive by the older generation of jazz fans that a) don’t have computers b) don’t know what an mp3 is or don’t care and c) don’t have iPods or are not interested in any of the new technological crap that plays mp3’s, WAV’s, etc. etc. They simply want a CD. If my theory is correct about the age of Dave Douglas’ fans then the CD will continue to live on longer than I think most people think it will.