ArkivJazz Creates Haven for Jazz Fans


ArkivJazz CEO Jeff Van Driel (left) and COO Jonathan Eby.

(Photo: Duncan Hammons)

As music lovers watched such international retailers as Tower Records and Virgin Megastore close shop, the issue of where to purchase that new release or deep catalog item became an infernal question. It appears that the only option is that ubiquitous internet retailer, correct? Burgeoning website ArkivJazz to the rescue.

“The ArkivMusic classical site is well known to the classical collector,” said ArkivJazz COO Jonathan Eby. “The site is somewhat unique in its ability to drill-down into a performer’s discography or a conductor or a composer and see all of the works that are available. This jazz genre is certainly underserved for the collector. We wanted to take the things that were successful at ArkivMusic for classical fans and present that to a jazz collector and jazz consumer.”

Eight months into the venture, ArkivJazz is proving itself a boon to jazz collectors. “ArkivJazz is a jazz music retailer with a focus on the physical market for products in the CD, DVD/Blue-ray, SACD and vinyl formats,” states the site’s About ArkivJazz page.

ArkivJazz’s easy-to-navigate landing page boasts a broad swath of new product in every style: Chris Speed Trio’s Platinum On Tap, Grant Green’s The Classic Album Collection, John Pizzarelli’s Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, and Herb Alpert’s Music, Vol. 1. The pre-order selection is equally inviting: Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready, Vijay Iyer Sextet’s Far From Over, and John Beasley’s Monk’estra, Vol. 2, just for starters.

The site offers option choices by Label, Format, Artists, Best Sellers, Pre-Orders, and the wild card, Styles, which breaks down into 20 categories, including Third Stream, Afro-Cuban, Acid, Modal, Funk, Fusion, Hard-Bop, and Traditional. The Free option opened with a brief description of the genre, followed by releases from Paul Bley, Peter Brötzmann, Marshmallow Moon Decorum and Jimmy Lyons.

Over at the Modal page, titles include Gil Evans’ The Classic Albums, Lasse Lystedt Quintet’s Fanfar!, and Jimmy Giuffre 3’s 1961.

ArkivJazz ships all orders within 24 hours, with new release pre-orders scheduled to arrive on release day. ArkivJazz is supervised by ArkivMusic, with former Tower Records and Blue Note employees managing content.

“We want to have enough depth in the catalog to cater to a collector, while at the same time making content accessible to someone just building a collection,” stated Eby.

Offering practically every jazz label, including Blue Note, ESP-Disk, Impulse!, Prestige, Riverside and Resonance, Arkiv distributes a deep well of jazz.

“We wanted to ensure that we have a healthy representation of the jazz labels that are important to consumers,” said Eby. “Of the labels we deal with directly, they jumped at the opportunity, because there is no one in the U.S. serving this customer at this scale. Amazon is the 300-pound gorilla in the room, but they market a jazz release just the same as they do diapers or toys. Jazz is not important to them, but it is to us.”

While price is important, ArkivJazz recognizes that there other other factors that can affect a buying decision.

“Amazon kills everybody on price,” Eby admitted. “But we believe that ultimately, customers [will return to our site not because] we offer the cheapest price on the internet, but rather because it’s a destination for the jazz lover. We try to reflect that as we flesh-out more original content, such as recent interviews with John Scofield and Jack DeJohnette. We want to have value for the customer base, and we expect to continue in that mode.”

To visit ArkivJazz, click here. DB

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On Sale Now
September 2023
Kris Davis
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