Stories » Maria Schneider Orchestra - Data Lords is digital dystopia and 'The Guardian: Jazz album of the month'

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Maria Schneider Orchestra - Data Lords is digital dystopia and 'The Guardian: Jazz album of the month'

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The US composer, bandleader and Bowie collaborator protests big tech's invasion of our lives on this powerful new album

When Maria Schneider led her long-running jazz orchestra in a 2015 London performance of that year's release The Thompson Fields, the great American composer and bandleader confirmed that her scenically spacious, luminously harmonised Gil Evans-inflected music – conjuring up landscapes, birdsong, and a kind of tranquil innocence – was in its exultant prime. But with Data Lords – her new double LP on the crowd-funded ArtistShare label – a steeliness and even bleakness now shares a stage with her familiar pastoral side. A tireless advocate of musicians' ownership of their work who has taken copyright issues all the way to Congress, Schneider has brought her battle with the corporations and big-tech's asset-stripping of personal and private spaces into this darker repertoire. (The album is only available for physical or digital purchasing, not streaming.) She also credits work with David Bowie on his song Sue (Or In a Season of Crime) – for which she won one of her five Grammys – for tapping her darker midlife energies.

READ THE FULL Guardian REVIEW