Clifton Anderson: Legacy
AAJ: You run the Doxy Label started by Sonny. What do your current duties entail?
CA: Managing a label has a lot of stuff going on; you have to project your product, what's coming out. I think it is a great thing for most musicians to know more about how the business really operates because things happen and change. Once the music is made, that's the end of music, other things become the priority. You have to think about release dates, timing, product, oversaturation, graphic artwork, costs, and conceptsall kinds of other things. You have to have a great publicist; in our case we have Terri Hinte who is one of the great veteran jazz publicists in the business.
We also have Bret Primack, who runs Sonny's website, but he is also vital to the label because anything that happens on the internet regarding the label, sales or these peripheral business dealingsBret has a certain level of expertise that he brings to the table.
My job is really to organize all these people in Sonny's process with the label, and the product that comes out of the label.
AAJ: Will new artists be signed to Doxy?
CA: Sonny would like to be involved with other artists, but right now the accounting side of the business is not set up for that. Once you get into having to deal with royalties, residuals, percentages and accounting for a lot of people, the business expands.
Right now we have four products: Sonny, Please (2006), Road Shows, Vol. 1 (2008), the DVD (Sonny Rollins in Vienne, 2008) and Decade. With these four products, there is an immense amount of work involved and this is all in-house, since we are family. What we are looking at is the amount of work that would be involved if we were to sign an outside artist. There are several that Sonny would be interested in, but right now the logistics/mechanics of the company are not in place to handle other signings.
That doesn't mean that in the future that were aren't going to do it, because it is something that Sonny and I both want to do. We are trying to work towards that but in a way that would be straightforward. When that day comes, we will be able to expand the label.
AAJ: It would seem that being a producer/owner of a label would allow for far more freedom, but does it ever become a tradeoff with all the extra work?
CA: Right now I would say that, because there is a lot of work involved, but I don't have to answer to somebody trying to say I have to play with this musician or play this kind of recording. Right now, we have a deal with Universal music. We create our own product, they listen to it. So far they have loved everything but if they didn't, we still own our product. So from an artistic standpoint this gives us a great sense of freedom, which is needed as an artist.
AAJ: Do you have a dream project yet unrealized, and what is it?
CA: I have a lot of projects that I would like to do. I would like to play with strings. I would like to orchestrate something. To be able to put my horn in with the context of strings and make a recording would be itsomething unique that would stand on its own.
Clifton Anderson, Decade (Doxy, 2008)
Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 1 (Doxy, 2008)
Sonny Rollins, Sonny, Please (Doxy, 2006)
Sonny Rollins, Without A Song (Milestone, 2005)
Richie Hart, Greasy Street (Zoho Music, 2005)
Wallace Roney, Prototype (Highnote Records, 2004)
Geri Allen, Life Of A Song (Telarc, 2004)
Sonny Rollins, This Is What I Do (Milestone, 2000)
Sonny Rollins, Global Warming (Fantasy, 1998)
Pe De Boi, Power Samba Band (Arkadia Jazz, 1998)
Sonny Rollins, Silver City: A Celebration Of 25 Years On Milestone (Milestone, 1996)
Clifton Anderson, Landmarks (Milestone, 1995)
Sonny Rollins, Old Flames (Milestone, 1993)
Sonny Rollins, Here's To The People (Milestone, 1991)
Sonny Rollins, Falling In Love With Jazz (Milestone, 1990)
Paul Simon, Rhythm Of The Saints (Warner Bros, 1990)
Sonny Rollins, Dancing In The Dark (Milestone, 1988)
Robin Eubanks, Different Perspectives (Milestone, 1988)
Sonny Rollins, G-Man (Milestone, 1986)
Sonny Rollins, Sunny Days, Starry Nights (Winter & Winter, 1984)
Courtesy of Clifton Anderson