02 July 2013

Jazz from Steve Coleman

For several years now, influential jazz saxophonist Steve Coleman has been offering up much of his catalog for free. When a musician of this caliber and notoriety gives away his catalog, it draws attention to the philosophy behind such action. Coleman explains:
Many people have asked me what are my reasons for giving away music for free. Well, why not?  Why should everything always cost something?  For me music is organized sound that can be used as sonic symbols to communicate ideas.  Since my main goal is the communication of these ideas to the people, then why not provide this music for free and thereby facilitating the distribution of this music to the people.  However the distribution of music in this way is not in the best interest of commercial music companies, i.e. record companies, music distributors, retail stores etc.

My reasons for providing free music comes from my belief that musical ideas should not be owned by anyone.  I believe that ideas should be free for anyone to use (but not to necessarily sell to others or make others pay for the use of these ideas).  The concept of a commons area where ideas can be used for the benefit of all but for the profit of no one may seem like an unrealizable concept in the world today.  Basically greed runs the world today and it is because of this that the concept of ownership exits.

There would be no need to own something exclusively unless the use of it was restricted to the owner for reasons of conservation, or the owner wishes to rent out the use of the item to others for a fee.  The concept of wealth also stems from ownership and control of resources. [read more]
The albums he shares include:

M-Base Collective - Anatomy Of A Groove (1991)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Alternate Dimension Series I (2002)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Black Science (1991)
* Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Curves Of Life (1995)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Def Trance Beat (Modalities of Rhythm) (1994)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Drop Kick (1992)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - On The Edge Of Tomorrow (1986)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Rhythm People: The Resurrection Of Creative Black Civilization (1988)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - Sine Die (1987)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - The Ascension to Light (2001)
* Steve Coleman And Five Elements - The Opening of the Way ()
* Steve Coleman And Five Elements - The Sonic Language of Myth (1999)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - The Tao Of Mad Phat (1993)
Steve Coleman And Five Elements - World Expansion (1986)
Steve Coleman And Metrics - A Tale of 3 Cities (1995)
* Steve Coleman And Metrics - The Way of the Cipher ()
Steve Coleman And The Council Of Balance - Genesis (1998)
Steve Coleman And The Mystic Rhythm Society - The Sign And The Seal (1997)
Steve Coleman - Motherland Pulse (1985)
Steve Coleman - Rhythm In Mind (1991)
Strata Institute - Cipher Syntax (1988)
Strata Institute - Transmigration (1993)
(* selected tracks)

Several of these titles are already cherished albums on the shelves at Oddio headquarters. We hope that this post and Steve Coleman's generosity will bring new fans to his work.



Photo: Steve Coleman, Selmer Factory in Paris France, July 2004, by Patrícia Magalhães

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