By Doug Minnick
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Dear TAXI,

I have now seen many listings that point out companies wanting music like certain other artists. Why is it that these people don’t use the music created by said desirable artists? This way they would have a perfect match! Examples: “Music Publisher needs SMOOTH JAZZ INSTRUMENTALS a la Kenny G, Fourplay, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, etc. etc……

Production Company looking for INSTRUMENTAL CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ARTISTS a la Boney James, Richard Elliot, Dave Koz, Rick Braun, etc. to record a demo and shop to labels and music supervisors. Ideal age range is 35 and under. “No fusion or rock elements, please.” …

Also , in the second listing above it is stated they want “no fusion or rock elements” in a submission of “Smooth Jazz” selections. I don’t know any other way to put this , but how the hell do you submit a “Smooth Jazz” tune with no fusion or rock elements? By definition “Smooth Jazz” is one or two chord music with a backbeat and lots of blues scale and funk licks. It really isn’t Jazz nor is it really smooth, for that matter.

My concern is that these people are obviously asking for something that they want , but in an incorrect manner. They seem confused as to how to define the genre. It makes it difficult for the composer to supply them with a product which they describe incorrectly! Will they recognize it when they hear it? Probably. but how many inappropriate submissions will you have to go through if the company seeking the music incorrectly describes what they want? It makes me wonder if these people have any ears at all or are just trying to impress others with their incorrect understanding of musical genres...

Vern Thompson
El Sobrante, CA

Hi Vern,

The use of similar artists (or ‘a la’ artists) is widely used industry shorthand for describing music. Sometimes the artists cited can indicate a pretty specific target, other times a more varied group of artists can describe a range of things in which the listing company might be interested.

The artists used in the listings above come straight from the Billboard “Contemporary Jazz” chart. Although I guess there could be a discussion about whether or not the word “smooth”’ should be used, the artists themselves are all within an identifiable and industry-recognized genre. And that’s what we are dealing with after all - the industry.

Hello Michael, Doug and all at TAXI,

I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that I’m sorry about missing the 2002 Road Rally. We (the Paddys) were on tour at the time and quite frankly, I’m still trying to digest and implement all of the input I got out of the 2001 Road Rally. I’ll be making it to this years Rally though. By November we’ll be needing a break and more TAXI Road Rally input.

After returning to Germany from the 2001 Rally, my head was buzzing not only with ideas, but with a whole new approach on making music. Rethinking not only my, but the whole bands (“Paddy Goes To Holyhead”) situation. I went into the studio to record “Red-Letter Days”, a production absolutely permeated with the 2001 Taxi Rally CD & Marketing plan input.

The record has been out only a few months and without having any major deal, or costly promotion campaign we are just a little short of selling out the first 10,000 copies! As an independent! THANK YOU TAXI! ...Not only for the great songwriting tips but also for the production, presentation and guerilla marketing tips. We are now getting national airplay and are booked at some of the biggest, most renowned Rock and Folk Festivals in Germany and Switzerland, headlining a lot of them and doing support on others. One of them, the Tollwood Festival in Munich, will be a double header on July 2. with the Hooters. That just knocks me out. Especially after listening to Eric Bazilian’s inspiring comments at the 2001 Road Rally and now sharing the stage with him knowing that his advice, in part, helped to make it happen. Can being a TAXI member make dreams come true?? Of course not, but being a TAXI member does give you access the tools that SURE CAN HELP!!

Wow! TAXI member Mark Patrick from Paddy Goes To Holyhead on tour in Europe with the Hooters! ... and that’s just the beginning. Thank you TAXI! Keep up the good work!

Mark Patrick
Paddy Goes To Holyhead

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