MusicMasters Label Brings Unearthed “Satchmo” Recordings

Fans of iconic jazz legend Louis Armstrong can now purchase newly discovered recordings from hundreds of digital retail stores courtesy of a new deal between Musical Heritage Society's MusicMasters label, a premier specialty label, and The Orchard, a global leader in digital music and entertainment.

The pact gives The Orchard exclusive worldwide digital distribution and marketing rights to MusicMasters' extensive catalogue of essential and rare classical and jazz recordings. Under the deal terms, The Orchard will also leverage the MusicMasters catalogue for use in The Orchard's growing Brand Entertainment division, which provides digital media solutions to brands and ad agencies.

The relationship will make many MusicMasters catalogue recordings available in digital format for the first time. One such album, out now, is the recently announced Louis Armstrong collection Fleishmann's Yeast Show & Louis' Home-Recorded Tapes. Culled from long-lost audio of Satchmo's performance on the wildly popular 1930s NBC radio program, and his own home-recorded tapes, the collection includes favorites such as "Pennies from Heaven, " "Over the Rainbow, " "Blueberry Hill, " "Lazy River" and "Sunny Side of the Street." The album is now available for fans worldwide from iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and hundreds more.

MusicMasters releases include a 12 volume Yale Music Library set by "King of Swing" Benny Goodman, culled from Goodman's own private collection and scheduled to be available this fall, and a nine albums collection from winners of the prestigious Naumberg Awards, set for release on September 16.

"Reviving the MusicMasters label has long been a hope of mine, " said Jeff Nissim, president of Musical Heritage Society. "These recordings have stood the test of time and to make them available again to a wide audience through The Orchard is gratifying and important to our company and the artists who made these recordings."

"Musical Heritage Society has a long tradition of offering incredible classical and jazz recordings to the most committed and discriminating fans, " said Brad Navin, executive vice president and general manager of The Orchard. "We look forward to a long term relationship that brings these rare, never before heard recordings to the market for those fans, and helps to expose great historic recordings to new audiences."

MusicMasters classical and jazz recordings mark a high point in the history of Musical Heritage Society. Starting in the late 1970s, MusicMasters was formed to record American music and American musicians – a truly unique recording concept at the time. Their plan was widely copied as the compact disc changed the classical and jazz recording industries, and many other labels were able to bring fine recordings to market. However, MusicMasters helped launch the careers of such fine American classical musicians as Eliot Fisk, Joshua Bell, Dawn Upshaw and Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg as well as re-energizing the careers of jazz masters like Benny Carter, Dick Hyman, Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws and Freddie Hubbard.

MusicMasters won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Performance for John Browning's definitive recording of Samuel Barber's solo piano music. Benny Carter won two individual Grammy Awards for recordings he made for MusicMasters.

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