Feb 12, 2016
“The way we listen to music today is broken”
With that bold statement, pianist/entrepreneur Elan Mehler explained to me the strategy behind Newvelle Records, a new kind of label with a curated repertoire of new music from some of today’s finest jazz musicians. Released only on highest quality vinyl, each album on the Newvelle label is recorded at East Side Sound in New York City by Grammy-winning engineer Mac Urselli, and mastered at famed mastering house Master Disc.
Newvelle release will only be available by a unique subscription arrangement, whereby members will receive one brand new record every two months. They will not be choosing selections from a catalogue, but rather will get the release chosen for the label by Mehler and co-founder Jean-Christophe Morisseau.
The first year's membership includes new recordings on vinyl from the following top artists, with the first release later this month: Frank Kimbrough Quintet, Jack DeJohnette Solo Piano; Noah Preminger Quartet featuring Ben Monder, John Patitucci and Billy Hart; Don Friedman Trio featuring music from Booker Little's seminal albums which featured Don in 1961:Out Front and Victory and Sorrow; Ben Allison Trio featuring Ted Nash and Steve Cardenas; and Leo Genovese Trio featuring Esperanza Spalding and Jack DeJohnette.
Newvelle is also an artist-centric label, as the label pays for all costs of the recording up front, has exclusive rights to the recordings on vinyl only for a few years, and then gives the digital masters to the artist to with what he or she wishes. “Our contract is literally a one pager....I would sign it”, joked Mehler.
Podcast 522 features my conversation with Elan Mehler, as he talks about the lable, the new recordings and where he hopes this business model goes in the future. An exclusive first listen to a track from Jack DeJohnette’s solo piano album ("Ode to Satie") is included, as well as previously released recordings from some of the featured artists, including Frank Kimborough (“Blue Smoke“), and Don Friedman playing with Booker Little (“Man of Words“).