The Dozens: Steve Coleman on Charlie Parker

The music of Charles Christopher Parker (as well as the music of many other musicians) probably has the greatest influence on my own music. I view Parker as a major composer, albeit primarily a spontaneous composer. His written compositions, similar to many other very strong spontaneous composers, were mainly jumping-off points for his spontaneous discussions. Parker was also… read more

The Sweet Science: Floyd Mayweather and Improvised Modalities of Rhythm

For me what makes boxing the ‘Sweet Science’ is not two guys just slugging it out in a ‘see who falls first’ scenario. It is seeing some real skill and artistry in the ring. The Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Phillip Ndou fight on November 1st 2003 was a joy to watch not just because Floyd won, but because of the ‘way’ he won. In Boxing, defense… read more

Symmetrical Movement Concept

We live in a world of immense beauty. There are a multitude of forms with countless variations on simple themes. I want to speak here about balance and make some comments about how balance can be achieved musically. There are countless ways that architectural balance can be musically achieved from the micro to macro level. Since attention to detail has always been an important factor for me, and these things are not usually discussed, I would like to initiate some dialog on this subject… read more

Why do I give away some of my music?

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… read more

Steve Coleman, M-Base, and Music Collectivism

It is in this context that I would like to discuss the more recently founded musical collective known as M-Base, and particularly the work of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, generally regarded as the “founder” of this movement. Rather than beginning with biographical information, I choose as a point of entry into the discourses of M-Base the liner notes to “the first album of the entire M-Base Collective,” Anatomy of a Groove (1992). One could easily… read more