[Dixielandjazz] Bootleg Count Basie DVD honored by the Jazz Press

David M Richoux tubaman at tubatoast.com
Thu May 13 17:08:11 PDT 2010

I got this from a radio list - sort of OT...

Dave Richoux


The reason for this letter is to express our outrage at a serious  
problem regarding the 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Awards. This  
being the nomination of “Count Basie & His Orchestra- Live in Berlin &  
Stockholm 1968” as the Jazz DVD of the Year.

Of all the DVDs released in the past few years, you chose to honor a  
DVD that is an absolute 100% BOOTLEG. This is a fact. We have spoken  
with Count Basie’s estate and the rights-holder to the footage filmed  
in Sweden in 1968 and neither of them has given permission for this  
material to be released. You should be ashamed of yourselves! The  
horrendous multi-generation VHS video quality alone would be enough to  
convince even the casual fan that this is a bootleg. It is  
irresponsible and reprehensible that an organization that purports to  
be arbiters of quality in jazz would nominate such a subpar and  
illegitimate release for a major award. Your support hurts everyone  
involved, from the artists to the footage holders. Every time we see  
bootleg releases reviewed in mainstream jazz publications it makes our  
blood boil. Especially when these publications ignore or downplay  
releases by legitimate companies who pay advances to the artists, pay  
for the footage, pay the side musicians through the  union, pay  
royalties, re-transfer the footage from master tapes or film, not  to  
mention including booklets with liner notes and photographs. There are  
many of us out there doing it right, and yet this is whom you choose  
to honor?  Sad.

At the risk of this sounding like sour grapes at not being nominated,  
we would have been very happy if all of the nominees were relevant  
music DVDs legitimately released by reputable companies in 2009. This  
was not the case and is an embarrassment to the industry and a source  
of anger and frustration to those of us going the extra mile to create  
quality DVDs in an increasingly anemic jazz marketplace. Please do  
your homework, it's not that difficult.

Regrettably yours,

The Producers of the Jazz Icons Series


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