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Jay Z’s 2013 album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail may have changed album releases as we know it. But according to Swiss pianist and saxophonist Bruno Spoerri, he did so unscrupulously.

Eighteen months ago, the Swiss jazz musician filed a lawsuit claiming that Jay Z (born Shawn Carter) had stolen a 1978 composition to create the record “Versus” found on the aforementioned album. The Daily Mail reports that Spoerri initially felt honored and said the matter could have initially been resolved with a simple phone call.

“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,” he told swissinfo.ch last year. However, he changed his tone in the next sentence saying, “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.”

In wake of the infamous Robin Thick/Marvin Gaye lawsuit where the latter was awarded millions in royalties without a sample even being present, Carter has agreed to fork over 50 percent royalties to Spoerri as retribution. Chances are the offer will stick as Spoerri balked an initial offer in the past few months.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, who both shared production credits on the track, were not named in the reports.

The 79-year-old Spoerri reportedly has directed the Zurich jazz festival and music schools in Zurich and Lucerne and worked with the likes of Lee Konitz, Hans Kennel and George Gruntz.

Check out the records to “Versus” and Spoerri’s “On The Way” on the next page.

Photo: WENN

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