Reservoir Acquires Catalog of Renowned Jazz Icon Sonny Rollins
The deal includes both publishing and recorded rights of "The Saxophone Colossus"
New York, February 22, 2023— Reservoir Media, Inc. (NASDAQ: RSVR), an award-winning independent music company, today announced the acquisition of both the publishing and recorded rights of renowned saxophonist and living jazz icon Sonny Rollins.
Born in New York in 1930, Rollins is widely regarded as one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time and earned the monikers "The Saxophone Colossus" and "The Greatest Living Improviser." He is both a prolific artist and songwriter, recording over 60 albums across seven decades, with numerous compositions of his becoming jazz standards, including "St. Thomas," "Oleo," "Doxy," and more. Throughout his career, Rollins deftly adapted to various innovations in jazz and added his own improvisations that drove the genre forward. He also collaborated and recorded with countless notable jazz musicians from the last century, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie, among many others. Today, Rollins continues to carry on the legacy of his fellow jazz visionaries who revolutionized jazz in the 1950s.
Rollins is also one of the most decorated artists of all time, having earned a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004, a National Medal of Arts from U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010, and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2011. His iconic 1956 album, Saxophone Colossus, which features "St. Thomas," was recognized by the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, which represents a list of sound recordings deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Saxophone Colossus solidified Rollins' status as a leading voice in the jazz world. For years, he famously practiced his saxophone for hours a day alongside the subway tracks on the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn. This period inspired his pivotal 1962 album, The Bridge, which became one of his best-selling records and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.
For decades Rollins continued to record and release new music, including his 2001 Grammy-winning album This Is What I Do and his 2006 Grammy-winning solo "Why Was I Born?" Though he no longer is performing, Rollins still releases live recordings of past performances on his own Doxy label. In addition to his career as a performer, Rollins has also been active as a philanthropist, establishing and maintaining the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble, "in recognition of the institution's long legacy of access and social justice advocacy."
On the deal, Rollins commented, "I'm happy that Reservoir will be helping to maintain my musical legacy, which was created in concert with so many great musicians I'm proud to be associated with."
Reservoir's Vice President of A&R and Marketing, David Hoffman said, "Sonny Rollins looms large in music history. His towering achievements speak for themselves, and his profound influence on music and generations of musicians, including myself, cannot be overstated." He added, "This is a really proud moment for Reservoir and for me personally, and we cannot wait to work with Sonny."
Rell Lafargue, Reservoir President and Chief Operating Officer, commented, "Reservoir is honored to sign this deal with the iconic Sonny Rollins and to be entrusted with his catalog that spans 70 years of brilliance and musical innovation." He added, "I first learned of Sonny through his music, playing 'St. Thomas' as a young jazz student, and it's incredibly meaningful that Reservoir and I can now commit to preserving Sonny's musical legacy and amplifying his contributions to the artform for audiences old and new."
Reservoir is an independent music company based in New York City and with offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto, London, and Abu Dhabi. Reservoir is the first female-founded and led publicly traded independent music company in the U.S. Founded as a family-owned music publisher in 2007, Reservoir has grown to represent over 140,000 copyrights and 36,000 master recordings with titles dating as far back as 1900 and hundreds of #1 releases worldwide. Reservoir frequently holds a Top 10 U.S. Market Share according to Billboard's Publishers Quarterly, was twice named Publisher of the Year by Music Business Worldwide's The A&R Awards and won Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2020 and 2022 Music Week Awards.
Reservoir also represents a multitude of recorded music through Chrysalis Records, Tommy Boy Records, and Philly Groove Records and manages artists through its ventures with Blue Raincoat Music and Big Life Management.
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Source: Reservoir Media, Inc.