Thursday, April 20, 2006

Missed Opportunity

Dave Liebman just released a new album with Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum on Challenge Records. It's been listed on the label's website since January; but you can't buy it from Challenge, because they discontinued online sales when they relaunched their website last year. Until last week, you couldn't buy it anywhere except Europe.

In February, I e-mailed Liebman. He sells CDs directly through his website, so I asked whether he had this one available. He didn't; but he forwarded my note to Challenge's producer, Hein Van de Geyn, whose response read, "USA release always runs several months after the European release." Liebman added, "Give it some time."

I was prepared to buy a copy. I would have paid postage from Europe. I knew it would eventually show up on Amazon, but I was eager and impatient. If Challenge had offered a way for me to buy the CD in January, I would have paid.

But when the CD debuted on Amazon last week for $16.98, I didn't buy a copy — because last month, a friend gave me an advance copy he had received. Challenge lost my sale because they made it difficult for me to buy their product. This happens all the time in jazz, and I'm sick of it. With all due respect, Mr. Van de Geyn: Get your act together.


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