Bruce Lundvall: 25 Years at Blue Note

From Jazziz Magazine, record company executive Bruce Lundvall reflects on a quarter-century at the helm of jazz’s most storied label, Blue Note Records. From the 2009 interview with Ted Panken:

Not every head of a large label is as hands-on as you. I could be wrong.

No, they could be wrong by not being more hands-on. They have to be. If you love the music, you are hands on. Are you going to sit and let someone else do everything? After all these years, I’ve become a fairly decent delegator. In the past, I was never that good at delegating. But I still want to keep my hand in. I don’t allow anyone to be signed whom I don’t approve of.

I feel we’re a team of people who are friends, who respect one another, are first and foremost about the music, and work together very effectively – though from time to time, we have to face issues that are not so pleasant. I’d really be embarrassed if I had to tell you that this has been a failure. It’s been successful commercially and artistically as far as I’m concerned. But it will never be as successful as what Alfred Lion created. His artists were so one-of-a-kind, such giants. We have to see how many of our artists become that 30, 40, 50 years from now.

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