(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Recently celebrating its 60th anniversary, the legendary jazz label Savoy Jazz has formed the Savoy Label Group (SLG). Under the new banner, the company plans not only the expansion of its jazz activities but also branching into adult contemporary. Recent signings of Joan Armatrading and Paul Carrack mark the beginning of SLG’s new push for a broader repertoire roster.
In order to facilitate the expansion into the adult contemporary world, SLG has appointed Guy Eckstine as vice president, Adult Contemporary A&R. The industry veteran’s directive is to bolster the label group’s image as a home for a diverse roster of adult-oriented artists. Eckstine, son of jazz legend and celebrated Savoy recording artist Billy Eckstine, was formerly VP of A&R for Verve Records.
"Guy’s the ideal partner to represent us to the community of artists that will benefit from a boutique approach and feel with very accomplished marketing credentials in the adult area," says Steve Vining, president of SLG.
"Savoy has long been associated with my family and I’m thrilled to be part of the new SLG team," says Eckstine. "It will be particularly gratifying to help in the growth and expansion of this legendary company."
Savoy Jazz’ stellar catalog roster includes Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Miles Davis, Billy Eckstine, Jimmy Scott and many others. Under VP of Jazz A&R Steve Backer, the company has moved forward with an aggressive re-release schedule and new jazz signings like Canadian Carol Welsman and Lou Rawls.
In addition, the label group has added Josh Sherman to the staff as senior director of Catalog Development. Sherman will continue to oversee the growth of the reissue campaign and SLG’s best selling mid-line series. Sherman was formerly director of Catalog Development at BMG.
The label also has promoted Sheila Volpe to senior director of Marketing. Formerly director for Savoy Jazz and Denon Records, Volpe will oversee the marketing, press and radio campaigns for all SLG releases.
The Savoy Label Group is the North American unit of Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia), the oldest music company in Japan. Under CEO Strauss Zelnick, CME has expanded it’s own repertoire base in recent months resulting in the firm’s first gold record certification in ten years from Hitoyo. –by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen