James Miceli and Brian McKenna at Hal Winer’s BiCoastal Music (Ossining, N.Y.)
Photo: Gregory Muller
Brian McKenna, formerly of Sony Studio, N.Y., has partnered with his childhood friend, James Miceli, a graphic artist, to form jazz label Daywood Drive Records. Their mission: combine the best of traditional marketing with social media and high-res digital delivery. The emphasis is on the music experience, with album art, session photos, behind-the-scenes video and an easily assembled bundled package available with each download.
“We’re not reinventing anything here,” says McKenna. “The pop world has embraced this new model. But in the jazz world, you still have people who opt for the CD because it sounds better. And they’re willing to pay more for that quality.”
Daywood Drive launched in late spring with two initial artists, Dan Willis and Sandro Albert, and a host of distribution deals for other artists. Phase two, about to launch, brings in the new, with blogs, streams, newsletter, video, Twitter—and an increase in quality download. “We record everything at 24-bit, 88.2,” McKenna says. “And we know the storefront is crucial. We will have a large education initiative on the site so that consumers can hear the difference between an MP3 and an 88.2 WAV file.
“We’ll have free downloads as a sample so consumers can download the high-res file and get used to the fact that it will take a little longer,” Miceli adds. “But we want them to play it against the MP3 that’s downloaded at the same time and do their own comparison.”