Indie Music Publisher Kobalt Gets Into the Miles Davis Business

In a deal that reflects both the continuing initiative of the Miles Davis estate and the growing mini-major status of the Kobalt Music Group, the two parties recently struck a deal for the independent music publisher to administer the entire catalog of the late jazz icon.

Kobalt’s global synch licensing and creative teams will take over worldwide administration of Davis’ music, previously overseen by the Universal Music Group, and aims to “develop new creative opportunities” as well as tap Davis’ works for use in films, television, advertising and other media. Kobalt’s clients include Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Thom Yorke and such jazz artists as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny.

“As a jazz enthusiast and sax player myself, listening to his music has been a major part of my life,” said Willard Ahdritz, founder and CEO of Kobalt, in the statement. “So it’s especially meaningful to me and an honor for everyone at Kobalt to be working with the Miles Davis Estate and their great team including Erin Davis, Cheryl Davis, Vince Wilburn, Jr. and Darryl Porter.”

For its part, Miles Davis Properties LLC called Kobalt a “forward-thinking” company that “puts the artists’ needs at the forefront.”

The Davis family has been quite busy as of late, overseeing several reissues the the jazz/fusion pioneer, including the upcoming “Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3,” being released March 25 via Columbia/Legacy; a lavish hardcover book of paintings by Davis called “Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork” published by Insight Editions; and a Davis biopic titled “Kill the Trumpet Player” directed, co-written by and starring Don Cheadle as the man with the horn that’s said to be scheduled for production in the coming year.

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