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2010-04-28

The Act Story

Running ACT is more a labor of love than a business. For me the music comes first and for more than 18 years I am grateful to have been able to produce and publish interesting and challenging music of my personal liking and to share this enthusiasm with music fans around the world. Siggi Loch ACT founded by music producer and publisher Siegfried “Siggi” Loch in October 1992, is one of the preeminent independent record labels in jazz today. Announcing its presence in the market with the release of the critically acclaimed Jazzpaña that received two American Grammy nominations and a German Jazz Award, ACT’s remarkable success story quickly gathered momentum.

Home to some of the most exciting, stimulating and popular artists in jazz today, the label can look back on over 250 releases that embrace a wide range of jazz styles and have been presented with numerous awards for commercial achievement and artistic merit. Today ACT enjoys international acclaim for its innovative high quality jazz and world music, and the company is seen to be one of the top music suppliers in Europe. The ACT corporate design reflects Loch’s strong interest in visual art. An enthusiastic collector for more than 30 years, Loch has always looked to bridge the gap between music and visual art and many works from his collection have been used as cover art for the label’s releases.

"About half of the recordings on ACT were produced by myself based on original concepts and realized in cooperation with the artists of my choice. This is how I started in 1992 with the recording of Jazzpaña, with Arif Mardin, Vince Mendoza, Michael Brecker, Carles Benavent and Perico Sambeat”, Loch recalls. “It was followed by projects like Blue Corner with Jasper van't Hof (musical homages to eleven contemporary painters and their 'blue' artworks), Round About Bartók with Richie Beirach, Europeana with Michael Gibbs and Joachim Kühn, Swedish Folk Modern with Nils Landgren and Esbjörn Svensson and continuing the theme into 2010, we have IF (BLUE) THEN (BLUE) with heinz Sauer, Joachim Kühn and Michael Wollny. The other half of the ACT catalogue consists of recordings produced by the artists themselves whose vision of jazz I think deserved to be heard."

The label places a strong emphasis on artists from Scandinavia. Artists such as Nils Landgren, e.s.t. - Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Ulf Wakenius, Lars Danielsson or the singers Viktoria Tolstoy and Rigmor Gustafsson make ACT the most successful producer of Swedish jazz music.

Another significant focus for the label is German jazz, especially the support of promising young musicians. Indeed, one of Loch’s declared aims is to discover and support new talent. One of his most successful ventures has been the launch of the critically acclaimed Young German Jazz series in January 2005. “While listening to the young pianist Michael Wollny I decided to devote a whole new series of recording the Young German Jazz scene."

Siegfried Loch is a veteran of the business. He worked for the record majors until the end of the nineteen-eighties and discovered and produced big-name artists like Klaus Doldinger, The Rattles, Katja Ebstein, Amon Düül, Can, Heinz Rudolf Kunze, Marius Müller-Westernhagen and Al Jarreau – to name but a few. In 1998 Loch was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the German Association of Record Reviewers (Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik). His passion for jazz was inflamed by a Sidney Bechet concert that he witnessed as a teenager in Hannover. He entered the record industry when he was nineteen and quickly distinguished himself, becoming the manager of Liberty/United Artists in Germany at the age of 25, the youngest record boss in the business. He then became president of WEA-Germany (in 1971) and president of WEA-Europe (in 1982). But all the while he had nursed an ambition to have his own record label and finally, in 1992, ACT was born.

„I was privileged to have been a successful player in the corporate music industry for almost three decades before I decided to realise the dream of my own label and to put all my experience and financial resources behind it,“ he says. „Now I am out there as the master of my own destiny finding new and exciting talents and helping build careers in today’s challenging but exciting jazz scene. It’s a great feeling.“

"One of the most critically acclaimed and internationally respected independents of the current era." JAZZWISE, UK
"Un sello de los más relevantes y activos de la escena de este continente." CUADERNOS DE JAZZ, ES
"ACT est bien un label européen, et l’un des plus créatifs de ces dernières années." JAZZMAGAZINE, FR

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2011-04-02 Unindicailits

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