Mark Stryker

Steve Coleman & #MeToo Moment in Jazz

154 posts in this topic

Someday we will talk about sex in music. Not sex around music, not the sexual activities of its players, no the sex that is actually in music. Not "eroticism", no, sex.

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Posted (edited)

Edit: I have decided to remove the contents of this post as it didn't help the discussion. A sad story, that's all I'll say. 

Edited by Daniel A

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22 hours ago, Steve Reynolds said:

Obvious to me - seems some others here can’t grasp that. 
 

glad I never liked his music in the least 

In the words of the late Wolfgang Fuchs, and I paraphrase:

"you can be terrible musician or you can be a terrible person. You cannot be both!"

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Just now, clifford_thornton said:

In the words of the late Wolfgang Fuchs, and I paraphrase:

"you can be terrible musician or you can be a terrible person. You cannot be both!"

Too bad he's dead, I could have given him ample examples to prove him wrong!

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You can also be so full of shit you can no longer smell your own stench. Happens a lot in social justice warrior circles.

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21 minutes ago, erwbol said:

You can also be so full of shit you can no longer smell your own stench. Happens a lot in social justice warrior circles.

WTF are "social justice warrior circles"? First "cancel culture wokies" and now this? Stop making up stupid terms to try and generalize things you don't like. Not only are you painting with a broad brush, you're showing yourself to be pretty damn heartless.

FYI, a lot of us really appreciate the #MeToo movement, myself included. Just because we think it's something whose time is long overdue, doesn't mean that we are suddenly some type of social justice warrior or we just "woke up". We've been aware of this for a long time. My awareness and desire for change was heightened when I had two daughters more than 30 years ago. Shit has happened to women for a long time and it should not have required anyone to "wake up" to realize it was wrong and needed to be stopped.

#MeToo should never have had to be a movement. It should have always existed. But here we are. I guess more than anything, we can thank Bill Cosby.

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On 6/1/2021 at 11:07 PM, Captain Howdy said:

Except Coleman was not a college professor teaching a course she needed to graduate. He was a successful musician who initially declined to teach her because she was in her own words "a complete beginner". And when he agreed, Coleman explicitly stated the terms of their contract were to be sexual: "Shortly after, he told me not to contact him if I didn't plan on having sex with him. He said it was not interesting for him to talk to me if there was going to be no sexual interaction." She knowingly and willingly entered into a sex-for-tutelage arrangement and therefore has no reason to complain about it. As someone once said, "We’ve already established what kind of woman you are; now we’re just haggling over the price." Grand hired a teacher and paid with her pussy -- or perhaps we should say Coleman hired a prostitute and paid with saxophone lessons.

This is gross but also a useful reminder that misogyny is still pretty common in jazz.

On 6/1/2021 at 3:49 AM, Dan Gould said:

Sorry, can't figure out what "it" is referring to, for a proper response. Are you referencing the "problem" of "jazz not being welcoming to women" or Coleman's specific behavior during their affair? Or Coleman taking legal action against her?

.....

Lastly if its the first thing .... what's the solution to this "problem" you've identified? Affirmative action for women instrumentalists? Quotas for festival gigs?  How about an intensive educational program to convince the dwindling jazz audience of the value of women instrumentalists?  This is where the improvement in the fortunes of record stores could really come in handy:

"Hey! Instead of buying that 8 LP set of Lee Morgan - there are only six tunes repeated over and over!. Try Ingrid Jensen instead. She's really good!"

I was referring to the first thing.  Part of what can make jazz less unwelcoming to women is us collectively establishing strong norms against behavior that is harmful to women.  That includes saying “it is bad for people in positions of power to be in sexual relationships with new entrants to the profession” (which might also benefit young men facing a similar situation, fwiw)

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39 minutes ago, erwbol said:

You can also be so full of shit you can no longer smell your own stench. Happens a lot in social justice warrior circles.

Plus you have NO idea what my viewpoint is on many other “social justice” issues. You might be surprised. 

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Posted (edited)

27 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

This is gross but also a useful reminder that misogyny is still pretty common in jazz.

Your saying so doesn't make it untrue or misogynistic.

Also, unless occasionally listening to jazz and posting here counts, you can't say I'm "in jazz."

Edited by Captain Howdy

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14 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

This is gross but also a useful reminder that misogyny is still pretty common in jazz.

Gross, mysogynistic, but not without some truth...I can get a lot grosser than that, but suffice it to say that there are certain types of people for whom gaining "musical knowledge" includes getting sexual knowledge. I cannot read somebody saying that they fucked a dude for a good while who they didn't really "want" to fuck in order to get "musical knowledge" and not think that the "musical knowledge" they are really seeking isn't just "saxophone lessons", it's lessons about internal psychological/physical rhythms and vibrations. I could tell you stories, real stories...some happy, some sad, some outright tragic, but all true.

The age thing is the gross part, and it's the headline. But believe me when I tell you that this sort of thing is NOT totally uncommon, the seeking of "musical knowledge" through sexual experience. Why that is...oh, we could go on, but we won't, because we're dealing with tabloid headline type stuff about a "young white girl" and an older "predatory black man", and that's headline enough for the breakfast paper. But if Paul Harvey was here (and thank god he's not....), there would be "the rest of the story". And there's a lot of it. A LOT of it, and it involves a helluva lot more than just these two headline people.

America ain't ready to confront this openly and freely, and may never be.

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I don't like that this story has gotten so much traction with #MeToo headlines. To my eyes, it's really not. #MeToo is really for all the women who have been forced to remain silent in the face of sexual harassment and even rape.

To be clear, if Grand had come out and said that Steve Coleman asked her for sex as payment for sax lessons and she had to walk away without getting those sax lessons, she could post away with that #MeToo hashtag and we'd likely all be behind her. I know I would be. But that's not what happened here. The jerk inappropriately propositioned her and she said, "Sure," and then kept at it for 6 years. 6 years. That sounds more like #WeToo.

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20 minutes ago, bresna said:

I don't like that this story has gotten so much traction with #MeToo headlines. To my eyes, it's really not. #MeToo is really for all the women who have been forced to remain silent in the face of sexual harassment and even rape.

To be clear, if Grand had come out and said that Steve Coleman asked her for sex as payment for sax lessons and she had to walk away without getting those sax lessons, she could post away with that #MeToo hashtag and we'd likely all be behind her. I know I would be. But that's not what happened here. The jerk inappropriately propositioned her and she said, "Sure," and then kept at it for 6 years. 6 years. That sounds more like #WeToo.

I think, if I'm reading everything right, that she also claimed that the "sexual harassment" (in quotes to distinguish it as a claim, rather than a diminishment of seriousness) didn't begin until after their intimate relations ship had ended. That's a legitimate claim, but not what #MeToo is about (imo/if i understand correctly).

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, bresna said:

I don't like that this story has gotten so much traction with #MeToo headlines. To my eyes, it's really not. #MeToo is really for all the women who have been forced to remain silent in the face of sexual harassment and even rape.

To be clear, if Grand had come out and said that Steve Coleman asked her for sex as payment for sax lessons and she had to walk away without getting those sax lessons, she could post away with that #MeToo hashtag and we'd likely all be behind her. I know I would be. But that's not what happened here. The jerk inappropriately propositioned her and she said, "Sure," and then kept at it for 6 years. 6 years. That sounds more like #WeToo.

You've  got it backwards: the story here is not that he made an inappropriate proposition: that happens in thousands of bars every night. The story is that he treated her badly once she became a paid member of his band: that's the #metoo part. But she kept going back for more abuse, so I have little sympathy for her. IMO #metoo is about men in positions of power abusing their power to to get sex from the women under them. The key word is power and it's why women often have to bend over backwards to depict their "victimizers" as powerful men. That's why Louis CK got a raw deal: he made an inappropriate proposition but he was not in a position of power to exploit anyone. Likewise, Coleman was not in a position of power over Grand -- at least not until she put him in one. It's not as if you have to fuck Steve Coleman to have a career in jazz. Steve Coleman is not the Harvey Weinstein of jazz.

Edited by Captain Howdy

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Ok, Louis CK commentary removed, start your own thread about it.

Come back with it on this thread and it gets deleted and the thread gets locked.

First, final, and only warning about this.

Let this be an example of how to "say no".

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OK I'm out. When mods start deleting big chunks of threads that's my cue to leave. If I wanted that kind of Big Brother shit I'd go hang out in Hoffman. You can delete my account too. I won't be coming back.

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Done.

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"In October 2019, on behalf of Ms. Grand, LBKM and Baker Hostetler filed a motion for summary judgment defending her letter as a protected expression of opinion incapable of being proven true or false to attach defamatory meaning and liability. Judge Eric Vitaliano agreed."

IMHO this doesn't really hinge on new law, opinions have always been not actionable as defamation.  There may have been some clarification or shifting of the burden of proof, but essentially defamation has to the sort of thing that would reasonably damage someone AND BE FALSE.  If it is opinion, which all assertions of motive and intent are, then it can't be either true or false and can't be defamatory (as long as you don't slip in some untrue assertion of an actual fact).  Yes it's slippery, and no the court cases don't line up in such a way as to make drawing a clear bright line at all easy.  Yes, I did go to law school and was admitted to the bar in two states; no I'm not in active practice and haven't been for ages and others may analyze this differently.  Bottom line is that he chose to put himself in a position where he'd look like scum if the undisputed facts, and the likely opinions of the other party, ever came to light.  And he chose to sue, placing the burden of proof and harsh glare of publicity on himself.  He lost at summary judgement because the judge thought he hadn't even plead a winning case, so there was no point in going to trial.  And oh yeah, she's foolish and probably seriously messed up and bad news, he's scum.  Maybe redeemable scum, that remains to be seen.  But I'm not selling the few recordings of his that I already have.  Not sure when I might listen to them again, if ever.  But I could say that about a lot of the recordings sitting on the shelves around me as I type this.  

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@danasgoodstuff

Did you read anything about the law that Bresna referenced? It makes it pretty clear that the revision to the existing law was crucial, and that this was a major advance in "free speech" rights as interpreted. And by the way, her claims CAN BE FALSE. There is no 'proof' whatsoever about the truth of her claims, other than sex having occurred after she turned 18. This was most certainly not a case of "the truth is an absolute defense", like, at all.

It comes down to, you can give your opinion in a public space, about "abuse" and "grooming" and "no sex, no work", with the intention of harming him, and get away with it ... simply because its your opinion that you were "groomed" and "abused" and that Coleman not hiring her for a gig was due to "not giving him what he wanted sexually".

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6 hours ago, danasgoodstuff said:

But I'm not selling the few recordings of his that I already have.  Not sure when I might listen to them again, if ever.

I hope you are not a big fan of the Seinfeld show then.

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3 hours ago, bresna said:

I hope you are not a big fan of the Seinfeld show then.

That too was gross and bad.  But Seinfeld was never, to my knowledge, her teacher or employer

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Gary Puckett is still counting his money, I suppose. assuming that he made it to begin with.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Gary Puckett is still counting his money, I suppose. assuming that he made it to begin with.

He had not just one, but two creepy "hits" on the topic.  Yuck.  

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In a time when pretty much everything seemed fair game, those two songs stood out as "well, maybe not EVERYTHING"...but who was buying those records? And where are they now?

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15 minutes ago, felser said:

He had not just one, but two creepy "hits" on the topic.  Yuck.  

 

6 minutes ago, JSngry said:

In a time when pretty much everything seemed fair game, those two songs stood out as "well, maybe not EVERYTHING"...but who was buying those records? And where are they now?

Anyone pay attention to lyrics? It's a story about a guy misled by a girl about her age, and when he finds out he tells her to go home.

With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe you're old enough
To give me love
And now it hurts to know the truth

[Chorus]
Whoa, oh, oh, young girl
Get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You're much too young, girl
 

About the only creepy thing is that he implies that if she doesn't go home he may give in and "change my mind".

I knew this one what is the other offensive hit he had?

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Let's not get started on Jerry Lee. He married his 13 year old cousin when he was 22.

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