Avenue heads to fast lane; Ferguson launches imprint

Avenue Records has taken the first steps toward becoming a full service indie with a trio of key appointments and the launching of a jazz imprint.

“Our goal is to become a major independent by expanding into a full service label,” said Jerry Goldstein.

Goldstein said the label will sign at least four major artists or groups in 1994 and release about 10 new albums from both new and established acts.

Avenue Jazz will be launched with a new album from Maynard Ferguson. The imprint will be helmed by ex-Blue Note Records exec Eddie Levine.

To get the word out on Avenue, which had sales just north of$ 7 million on nearly 70 catalog based releases, the label has tapped three music industry stalwarts to market the label and its slate.

Avenue acts include War, Jimmy Witherspoon and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Bruce Garfield joins as Avenue’s VP of artist and corporate development and publicity, Reggie Barnes as VP of national promotion and Linda Fine becomes national marketing director.

Additional signings and an international distribution deal are expected. The label is distributed domestically by WEA through a conduit deal with Rhino Records.

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