Legal Red Tape – the Last Obstacle

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Mechanical License Paid

Finally, after four months of research and patience, we have a green light on the Vintage Trumpet Treasures CD. When we started this project, I made the mistake of assuming all of the songs I recorded were in the public domain. I was wrong. To complicate the problem, I didn’t know who to contact to pay the mechanical license. It took us weeks to trace the publisher through a sequence of acquisitions to find that these songs are now managed by EMI.

Once we contacted EMI, it was another good while before the song names were eventually registered with Harry Fox. Then, yesterday before I started teaching my students for the day, I made my payment and got legal. That means all of the details for the CD are finished. All that is left is to finalize the cover art and send it off to be duplicated.

You know, I really didn’t want to hassle with Harry Fox and publishers and all that stuff for this project. Vintage Trumpet Treasures was supposed to be my painless first CD. But now that we stuck it out to the end and made the whole thing official and legal, I’m glad we did. Not only am I happy to be entirely legal (and proud of the fact that the people who own the copyright to those songs will get a little money for them), but it also brings me great joy to have learned so much in the process. With what I know now, I can easily tackle any new project down the road, including perhaps CDs for other people. We’ll see how that goes, but it’s nice to know that I have the skills to take a real recording project to completion.

This Vintage Trumpet Treasures CD is going to be a high quality product. I believe I’ve covered every base. I bought a UPC code and registered for an ISRC umber. As soon as we have a physical product I will be registering it with all the appropriate databases. Pearl’s work on the cover art will be the proverbial icing on the cake.

Not My First CD

Many people would say that this is not my first CD. In a way they would be correct. I have been recording since the early 1980s. I even did a recording project in the early 90’s with my own band but never saw it through completion. So in my mind, that one doesn’t count. I’ve also recorded on literally dozens of other people’s CDs, but most of those are just horn section recordings that don’t really feature me. It’s nice to say that I am on a Grammy (Chicanisimo by Little Joe y la Familia) and I do consider it a great honor to have recorded my own compositions with the Tom Borling Bebop Band and the Texas Brass Ensemble. But those are not really MY CDs.

So I am very excited to make this first step as an “artist.”

I will write more about the Vintage Trumpet Treasures recording as we progress towards the official release date (which looks like May 1st). For now I just wanted to share how excited I am that the mechanical license is payed and we are ready to have the CDs printed.

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