After years of selling downloads of my CDs from my website, I have decided to offer them for free. No strings attached. If you want to listen to the music – and don’t already pay for a service that lets you play entire albums without commercials – you can go to the “Music” page on my website and download the albums to your phones or computers. The downloaded folders also include a PDF of the cover art, photo, liner notes, and other information about the recordings. The music files can then be listened to by clicking on them, or they can be easily imported into your digital music player’s library.
After all, I believe that music is meant to be shared.
It just doesn’t make sense to try and sell the music any more. Not since you can also hear all this music on Spotify, and Apple Music, and YouTube, and Tidal, and Deezer, and services I have never even heard of. They play it on Pandora and Jango and other free internet radio. And for each “play” of each song, I get one-third of a penny. So when the songs on my new album, Heart of Hearing, got 1000 plays, after a month up on Spotify, I earned $3.
I am aware of the privileges I have that permit me to offer my work for free as I am not dependent on this aspect of the music “business” for my livelihood. Many young and deserving artists are not so fortunate.
Speaking of being young and starting out… I remember the excitement I felt when I first started hanging around jazz musicians as they shared what they were working on and I, soaking up their passion and dedication to the music, understood that the only way to prove to myself that I too possessed that same drive to learn and ability to play with them – was simply to start practicing. And that changed everything.
I have been incredibly fortunate to be around such inspiring people and to work with them my entire professional life.
I offer a deep bow to the musicians on these albums, most of whom are still alive and are still playing out and practicing with focus and expansive joy.
There is a measurelessness to that definition of success that I can get behind.