OBITUARY: Ellis Freedman, Legal Counsel to American Composers, 82

Ellis J. Freedman, a pioneer in the field of intellectual property law who served as legal counsel to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and others from three generations of American composers, died on June 16, 2003 from cancer. He was 82 years old. Freedman (b. May 3, 1921 in Albany, NY) practiced law in New York […]

OBITUARY: Herbie Mann, Revolutionary Jazz Flutist, 73

Herbie Mann Herbie Mann, who redefined jazz by insisting that the flute was part of its sonic palette, died on Tuesday in his cabin just outside of Pecos, New Mexico. His death was the result of an eight-year battle with inoperable prostate cancer. Mann was both an instrumentalist and a composer, whose music blended jazz […]

BMI Smiles Upon Student Composers

Just the Facts 2003 BMI Student Composer Award Winners: Mason Bates, Age 26 Ben S. Jacob, Age 26 James D. Norman, Age 23 Robert Janusz Pierzak, Age 19 Joel Puckett, Age 25 Joseph Sheehan, Age 22 Nathan Shields, Age 19 Jeffrey Stanek, Age 19 Dan Visconti, Age 21 William Schuman Prize Winner: (Work judged “most […]


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, […]