Fireworks

It’s July and we’re again celebrating that quintessential and sometimes amorphous sense of American independence. And another perennial activity that we always need to be doing in the music world is examining how individual or independent artists, of all kinds, are faring in advocating and presenting their work in the shadow of whatever the mainstream […]

On Recording for Major vs. Independent Labels Connie Crothers

Connie CrothersPhoto by Alison Gordy In today’s market-driven, commodity-oriented record business, the desire to release music that truly fulfills the musician is one of the most important reasons to choose the independent path. In 1983, Max Roach and I recorded duo. When no one was interested to produce the record, he asked me if I […]

On Recording for Major vs. Independent Labels Matthew Shipp

Matthew ShippPhoto by Laurie Stalter The only experience I have had with a major was with the David S Ware Quartet on Sony. It was horrible. You could never get anyone on the phone. When you got someone’s secretary you were told they were out getting hot chocolate. A month after the record was released […]

On Recording for Major vs. Independent Labels Michele Rosewoman

Michele RosewomanPhoto by Barbara Ernzerhoff Having recorded mainly with small independent labels, the experience of releasing a recording on Blue Note Records was at first exciting and promising and ultimately disappointing. But this is a familiar story—many have had this experience. One inevitably gets their hopes up. You hope to make it into the "inner […]

View From the West: Erik Satie—A Model for Alternative Thinking

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki Erik Satie has long been one of those composers who has perplexed and flummoxed music theorists, music historians, and composers. Somehow he has managed to weasel his way into the history books and must at least be mentioned in music history courses, yet he is not accorded the kind and […]

On Recording for Major vs. Independent Labels

Yusef Lateef The leading questions that guide YAL Records came into focus as the indeterminism and bifurcations (I&B) model, which took shape about ten years ago. A look at recent music history in the United States may be helpful in placing these questions in context. Needless to say, these remarks are a selective game plan, […]

View From the East: Fascinating Rhythms

Greg Sandow Wow. That’s one response to the outpouring my last column provoked. I had a few e-mails warning me that the discussion abandoned the issue I’d raised, but I’m glad it did. I was talking about something important, maybe, but also pretty limited—how critics should respond to the crisis in classical music. Whatever sense […]

On Recording for Major vs. Independent Labels Ratzo B. Harris

Ratzo B. HarrisPhoto by Mikhal Shapiro In my experience, recording for major labels focuses on demographic marketability more than artistic integrity and recording for independent labels usually allows for a greater degree of creative flexibility. On the other hand, the independent label’s tolerance toward artistic liberties is often inversely proportional to the ability to provide […]

Declaration of Independents: A HyperHistory of Independent Jazz Labels

David Adler and a few CDsPhoto by Dr. Jennifer M. Good I’m in a Manhattan hair salon, waiting for my turn under the scissors. A DJ on WBLS-FM comments breathlessly on the signing of Patti LaBelle to Def Jam Records. “That’s huge, for both of them!” she exclaims. Why? Because LaBelle remains one of the […]