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Steve Backer

The founder from the Novus subsidiary, Steve Backer has were able to produce many adventurous jazz schedules during periods when avant-garde jazz was at risk of disappearing from American labels. Although he previously lessons on bass, Backer in early stages decided that it had been better to help jazz from behind-the-scenes. He do promotional and A&R work with MGM/Verve and Elektra during 1969-71 and in 1972 became ABC/Impulse’s nationwide promotion movie director. Within half a year he was the overall supervisor of Impulse and through the next 2 yrs he helped to revive the dying label, documenting and dealing with such performers as Keith Jarrett, Gato Barbieri, John Klemmer and Pharoah Sanders. In 1974 Backer relocated to Arista as their movie director of jazz A&R. For six years Backer was extremely occupied at Arista, licensing music for the Arista Independence label, reissuing classic shows on Savoy and operating Novus which documented new shows by many exciting performers including especially a thorough series by Anthony Braxton. He also helped out a little using the up-and-coming subsidiary GRP. Since departing Arista in 1980, Backer caused Windham Hill during 1981-86 (where he produced the Magenta subsidiary) and within the 1990s for RCA where he revitalized Bluebird and restarted Novus.

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