Nov 24, 2020
With the release earlier this year of Data Lords, a two-disc opus, Maria Schneider stepped up her battle with the giants of the technological world. An outspoken critic of companies like Amazon, Google and YouTube, Ms. Schneider has been standing up for citizens’ rights to maintain their online privacy and personal information, as well as artists’ rights to control and monetize their work through copyright and contractual protection. Data Lords is at least partially her attempt to let her music do some more of the talking.
The music alternates from the foreboding, dark and gnarly sounds on the first disc, to the more pastoral and inspirational on the second. The great cast of musicians that Maria assembles use their talents in very specific ways to bring life to her music. Ben Monder’s electric guitar alternately drones and snarls, while Steve Wilson and Donny McCaslin on alto and tenor sax respectively, can soar above the band, or lead a crashing response to shifting rhythms. There’s a lot to digest here, and it calls for repeated listening, and reading Maria’s liner notes doesn’t hurt. It’s a beautiful package, as we have come to expect from Ms. Schneider’s output on ArtistShare and one of the best albums of the year.
Podcast 777 is the first of two conversations with Maria Schneider. Part One concentrates on the making of, and philosophy behind, Data Lords. Ms. Schneider prefers to limit the amount of her music that we can feature in the podcast, so there will be short sections of the pieces “A World Lost” and “Bluebird,” as well as from her collaboration with David Bowie on “Sue (or In A Season of Crime,” Podcast 778 will complete the conversation later in the week, as we talk about her experiences growing up in Minnesota, her exposure to music by friends and mentors, and why she continues to advocate for musicians’ rights in 2020.
Maria and her Orchestra have made appearances at the Jazz Standard in New York a Thanksgiving tradition. Unable to appear live this year, she premieres some never-before-seen videos from their 2019 Jazz Standard Thanksgiving run along with recording footage from their Data Lords. For the first time ever, Maria and several members of her Orchestra will reunite for some post-Thanksgiving camaraderie on Zoon. You can join the festivities on Friday, November 27th at 7:30 p.m. EST via www.mariaschneider.com or on Facebook. The presentation will be streamable at your leisure through Monday, November 30th at 12 noon EST.