Musician, music lover, audiophile…Ron Rambach has had a singular passion for music, and Jazz in particular, all his life. His avid interest in the music led him to found “Music Matters, Ltd.” in 1978, a jazz mail order company featuring rare and collectible jazz recordings. For over 25 years, his work has involved the acquisition, appraisal, and offering of the finest jazz recordings to some of the most prestigious collectors in the world, and he has furthered their interests as a personal consultant. Ron has advised several large industry leaders such Atlantic, Verve, and other independent labels. He also managed the largest jazz collection in the US, with over 300,000 titles. This experience, combined with his avid love for the music, are the heart and soul of what he now brings to his latest project.
For this endeavor, Ron has teamed up with Joe Harley of AudioQuest to realize his dream of reissuing some of the finest LP recordings of the famous Blue Note label on vinyl. The project will focus on the core of the Blue Note catalog, the "best of the best," with sound reproduction faithful to the original master tapes. “Doing this right means keeping faith with the original masters and musicians that made Blue Note the success story we all know," said Ron. “We’ll represent this catalog as it was meant to be heard and seen. And we’ll produce a product that will truly do justice to the label, and the musical heritage it represents.”
In addition to his long standing position as VP at the high end cable company AudioQuest, Joe is perhaps best known for his production work for various labels over the last 17 years, including AudioQuest Music, Telarc, Enja, ECM and GrooveNote. To date he has produced over 100 well regarded blues and jazz titles including the Grammy nominated “Delta Crossroads” by Robert Lockwood Jr. in 2002. He has worked with a who’s who of the best contemporary jazz and blues musicians including Charles Lloyd, Bennie Wallace, John Abercrombie, Anthony Wilson, Brad Mehldau, Grover Washington Jr., Diana Krall, Mike Stern, Ry Cooder, Hubert Sumlin, Susan Tedeschi, Terry Evans and Mighty Sam McClain.
Harley also worked as Creative Director of the JVC XRCD program from 1997 through 2002. “I’ve been in love with the vintage Blue Note titles for as long as I can remember. To have the opportunity to present these great albums with the best possible sound along with the superb photos of Francis Wolff is just thrilling to me.”
Music has been the central focus of the life and career of noted record producer Michael Cuscuna. He began his career in the late 60’s as an FM disc jockey and music journalist. During that time he wrote for publications such as Down Beat, and Jazz and Pop. His experience led him to seek opportunities as a record producer. Along the way he has produced records for Atlantic, Motown, Capitol, Columbia, Arista, and also supported several independent labels such as Freedom and Novus. This work helped him achieve recognition as an outstanding record producer and culminated in Grammy awards for “Best Historical Album Producer” in 1993 and 2002.
Michael has been prominent in the jazz reissue business as far back as 1975. He co-founded Mosaic Records in 1983 with Charlie Lourie. With access to the prestigious Blue Note vault as well as other noted jazz labels, Michael helped reinvigorate the music while setting new standards for quality and presentation. He produced a program of stunning, limited-edition boxed sets for Mosaic that were critically acclaimed by the mainstream press and revered by jazz fans. With a focus on discovering and producing previously unissued material, Michael has supervised the reissue of over 100 albums, bringing back the legends of jazz for a new generation of music listeners. Michael has also produced numerous records for contemporary artists like Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Woody Shaw, Dexter Gordon, McCoy Tyner, and Don Pullen.
At the age of eighteen, Kevin Gray was the youngest mastering engineer in the country when he started cutting records at Artisan Sound Recorders in Hollywood in 1972. Over the next five years, he cut hit after hit for artists such as America, Paul Anka, The Beach Boys, Debbie Boone, Donald Byrd, Mac Davis, ELO, The Grateful Dead, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Joel, L.T.D., Manassas, The Osmonds, Kenny Rankin, and Redbone.
In his forty year career, Kevin has mastered music for every major label in every genre, including pop, rock, jazz, classical, punk, heavy metal, new age, gothic, world ethnic, disco, dance, soul, blues, and rap. He has to his credit more than a hundred top ten and Grammy award winning records, and dozens of RIAA certified gold and platinum albums and singles.
Kevin began working at AcousTech Mastering in 1997 and was instrumental to the development of their studio. In 2010 Kevin opened his own mastering facility, Cohearent Audio, LLC. It utilizes all the same great gear as before, with some new upgrades and additions.
“The Blue Note catalog is some of the greatest Jazz recordings of all time, PERIOD. To be able to remaster some of the very best Blue Note titles for 45 rpm vinyl is an honor and a privilege, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun!”
Chris Mousdale is a native of Liverpool, England, now living in New Zealand since 1990 where he works as an illustrator, designer and artist. He has been a lecturer in Illustration at Auckland University of Technology since 1995, and his unique talent has graced the covers of many notable album releases, commissioned for more than two thousand editorial illustrations as well as book covers, posters and CD covers.
Always active in the music/art industry, Chris served as curator for exhibitions of Brazilian bossa nova LP designs (2000) and co-curated the British Council ‘Sound Design’ exhibition of New Zealand record covers (2002). He has held numerous solo exhibitions of his paintings and constructions. In 2003 his illustration artistry won New Zealand’s top children’s book award for Brodie with author Joy Cowley, and has three Qantas awards for illustration.
A huge fan of jazz since the 1970s he’s thrilled to be creating new covers for the greatest of all the jazz labels, one that is a touchstone for some of the most iconic modernist photography and typography of the 20th century. Working with Music Matters is an opportunity to serve the amazing legacy of Reid Miles and Francis Wolff with fresh and distinctive covers that maintain and develop the integrity, style and attention to detail synonymous with the best of Blue Note records into the 21st century.