This Week In Music: Jay-Z Buys In, Music Festivals Fade, New John Coltrane Album


Big deals that happened, big deals that didn’t happen, and celebrations of some of music’s greatest artists were on tap this week. As summer fades, so, too, are many music festivals heading gently into that good night, as increased competition for acts and patrons has led the saturated markets to take a step back. The good news is that National Football League music productions will get more interesting, now that Jay-Z is behind the wheel.

This week in music:

NEW JOHN COLTRANE ALBUM:  A lost album from legendary composer and saxophonist John Coltrane has been rediscovered. Impulse! Records, his longtime label, will release the collection of recordings made with his classic quartet I 1964. Blue World, which contains alternate versions of earlier compositions, will be out on Sept. 27 on LP, CD and digital. The session was recorded at New Jersey’s Van Gelder Studios at the request of Canadian filmmaker Gilles Groulx, who had asked Coltrane to soundtrack his film Le chat dans le sac.  New Versions of Coltrane’s “Naima,” “Village Blues,” “Traneing In,” and “Like Sonny” are on the 37-minute recording with the title track the only new tune.

PEAK MUSIC FESTIVAL: The popularity of outdoor music festivals may be peaking, as several prominent Southern California ventures – Arroyo Seco Weekend, Music Tastes Good – are taking a break this year. The increasing competition for acts in the space, high ticket prices and consumer fatigue are possible causes.

WOODSTOCK 50th CONCERTS: Yes, it’s the anniversary of the granddaddy of all music festivals, which took place in Bethel, New York a half-century ago. Although the huge concert planned to commemorate the occasion fell through, there will be two concerts near the site of the original, featuring John Fogerty, Santana and Ringo Starr, among others.

JAY-Z SIGNS FOR PEACE IN OUR TIME:  The National Football League bought itself immunity from accusations surrounding Colin Kaepernick this week, as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation signed a pact to curate the Super Bowl halftime shows, NFL special events, and to work with the NFL on its various social justice initiatives. Jay-Z will also reportedly gain a piece of an unspecified NFL team as a part-owner. The deal drew heavy criticism as selling out poor Kaepernick, whose sole comfort since being banished is the many millions he’s made from Nike and a legal settlement.

MECHANICAL RATES TO RISE:  Music streamers Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora will appeal a Copyright Royalty Board’s mechanical rate determination, which will see music publishers and writers enjoy a 44% rate increase on their use of music by the streamers by 2023. The digital services filed their appeal late Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND INJURED: He survived explosions, gunshots and more in his roles on 24 and Designated Survivor. But Kiefer Sutherland couldn’t escape the clutches of some bus steps, falling and injuring his ribs while on a tour of Europe to support his new album. He had to cancel three dates because his ribs wouldn’t let him sing. He’s expected to make up the dates in the fall.



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