Stories » Maria Schneider's 'Data Lords,' demands repeated listening sessions to take in its magnitude and riches / Audiophile Audition

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Maria Schneider's 'Data Lords,' demands repeated listening sessions to take in its magnitude and riches / Audiophile Audition

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Maria Schneider is a pre-eminent jazz composer known for lush, gorgeous compositions, blending jazz, classical, folk, and Americana themes. She has been honored with multiple Grammy Awards and is always at the top of Downbeat Magazine's Critics List, winning this year as Best Composer, Arranger, and Big Band leader. In addition, she has been a fierce advocate for musicians fighting for compensation from streaming platforms such as YouTube, as well as copyright abuse. She has filed suit against YouTube, and testified in front of Congress. Her CDs are released by ArtistShare, which is fan-funded.

Her latest effort, Data Lords, a 2 CD set, in a sumptuous gate fold package, was supposed to be issued earlier this Spring, backed by a national tour with her full 18 piece orchestra. However, the tour and CDs, were sidelined by the COVID-19 epidemic. We are fortunate that the double CD set has been released, and the agonizing wait is over. 

Maria's vision of the often times vicious digital world vs. the neglected "natural" world (art, poetry, unblemished landscapes, and especially open-eared silence) is brought to full fruition here, with Disc 1 titled "The Digital World," and Disc 2 named, "Our Natural World." Though our digital connection can provide needed communication throughout the world, its rush to commercialism through mining customer's spending habits, and allowing manipulation of our daily life through addicting platforms, has corrupted its intent to improve our lives, and equalize our world's inequities. The extremes between the digital world, and a more tranquil (you might say "healthy") world has never been greater. Daily we look down at our digital devices, while ignoring the simple beauty of the "natural" world around us.

This is a very special release, well worth the wait. It will surely garner awards. Both weighty, inspiring discussion, and deeply moving, Data Lords, demands repeated listening sessions to take in its magnitude and riches.

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