After an 18-month legal battle, Jay Z has agreed to pay half of all the royalties from his song “Versus” to a Swiss jazz musician.
Spoerri had composed the music in 1978. Although Spoerri had rejected an initial offer that was “too low,” he noted last year that the full legal battle could have been avoided if Jay Z had called his record company earlier.
“In a way I’m flattered that a relatively young rapper takes a sample from an old man, a sample that is about 35 years old,” Spoerri said. “On the other hand I’m furious because it would have been so simple to clear the sample. All it would have needed was a call or an email to the company and I think it would have been relatively cheap.”
Spoerri’s career spanned nearly 50 years, and the pianist and saxophonist has worked with Lee Konitz, Hans Kennel and George Gruntz. He also directed the Zurich jazz festival as well as music schools in Zurich and Lucerne.
Listen to Spoerri’s original “Lilith — on the way” below, followed by Jay Z’s “Versus.”
Source: The Grio