One Trick Dog
I'm not sure an enterprise as improvisational as One Trick Dog has a mission, but if we do, it is to make some great jazz, to preserve some great jazz and to work with some truly great artists along the way. We began as an idea in '76 when I was in graduate school and Alida Rohr was at NEC. Alida was then playing with the ARB with some of the heaviest young Boston jazz musicians. Her bands were always hot and, as Ernie Santosuosso wrote, she is "a prodigiously talented artist who has too long been an open secret in Boston" (the Boston Globe, '82). Jazz was evolving incredibly rapidly and we were trying to get down as much of the live performance as we could on reel to reel; but it was not until 1982 that we began thinking about actually cutting our own records.
We called this fool's errand of an enterprise One Trick Dog with the caveat "but it's a really good trick," and we cut "Hot and Cold Running Years" from the material we had archived. The 80's might not have been the best time to put out a cross over jazz/rock album, not up against disco. So we left the label on the shelf and began doing recording projects under Zevisgirl productions (a small group of musicians and graphic designers from New York City). One Trick Dog has always been a family enterprise, so as we have grown and taken on new artists, we've tried to treat them as members of our family, to hear and understand their vision of their work and how they see it evolving.
We try to find independent funding for their projects when we can, and to connect them with people in the industry who share their vision. As a small press, we see our role as trying to move young artists to larger labels or to other small labels around the world in Japan and in Europe, as well as to online sites that showcase jazz. We try to create effective promotional videos for a variety of advertising contexts as well, using our engineers, videographers and graphic designers.
In 2013, at the urging of our lead engineer, we brought back One Trick Dog as One Trick Dog* Records. In 2015, we released albums by jazz pianist Roy Assaf, saxophonist Jonathan Parker, jazz violinist Ben Sutin, and blues artist Tom Larsen. These are playing on radio all over the world. We are currently working on a second blues album with SeRon Crenshaw and a fusion album with Katini Yamaoka-Dinkubahi. We hope to release six albums in 2016, including a re-mix of "Tears of Men."
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