She is a musician but unusual both in her musical and business approaches, and I think you might enjoy her.
What happened was, I was listening to the late-evening jazz show on the CBC, which tends to be pretty soft-edged, and this one piece kept grabbing my attention even though it was too. Then the announcer came on and explained that it was by Maria Schneider, who writes big-band jazz, but couldn’t make a go of it or a living working with record companies, so had released her latest only on her web site. I had a computer in my lap, so about three minutes later I was US$16.95 poorer and Ms Schneider was that much richer.
The CD, Concert in the Garden showed up and I had to drive across town so listened to it in the car and now I’m listening to it again at home. It’s maybe a little too mellow for me, but the compositions are deep, deep, deep, and the sound is lovely and my ears are happy. You won’t hear any unconventional arrangements or atonal excursions or even really much that’s new and exciting by way of orchestration; just very nice, very complex, slightly-Latin-flavored jazz played lightly and well. The other record in my collection that it sounds most like is Ellington Indigos, but that doesn’t mean it sounds old.
What’s surprising, once you start looking at the CD liner, is that Ms Schneider neither sings nor plays in the 23-piece orchestra; she writes the music and conducts and that’s it.
In case it’s not obvious, I recommend the business model and the music too.