More legal news: Sax player had sex, allegedly

From the Daily Mail:

The saxophonist Steve Coleman, 62, is suing his former lover, 26, for defamation after she accused him of manipulating her into a five-year relationship in exchange for being her mentor.

Read all about it here.


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  • I can’t speak to the merits of the lawsuit, but the Daily Mail is a tabloid known for inaccuracy and sensationalist scare stories.

    Last April the New York Times wrote about Ms. Grand and several other women in jazz in an article that seems more worthy. The NYT article makes an interesting observation:

    “Looking broadly at the music industry, it is widely seen as lagging behind even Hollywood on gender equality, and it has no labor body comparable to the Screen Actors Guild — which released its own sexual harassment code of conduct in February — to battle for artists’ interests.”

    Women in jazz have it rough. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, for example, does not have any women members.


    • I recently read the biography “Suits Me” about the jazz pianist Billy Tipton who cross dressed and acted transgender for years. She probably leaned that way anyway but it started when she realized that she would not be taken seriously in the jazz world. Her career started during WWII and I believe she died in the 1990s

  • We might also note that even Wiki discourages use of the Daily Mail as a reference due to “the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication”.

    • That is funny because the Daily Mail discourages the use of Wiki as a reference due to poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication.

      I wonder which of the two is considered a more credible source?

  • There should be a unit in every sex-education class for teenage girls with a title something like, “Men, even old men, are horny and will do anything to get you in the sack.”

    It’s something that seems to be not well-explained these days.

  • There was an exchange that both parties accepted for 5 years. Its a no fault situation. They both need to stop what they are doing and go to their respective corners.

    • What else is Mr Coleman to do when the mere fact of an allegation being made is enough to destroy his career, regardless of the merits of the allegation?

      I wasn’t aware of his music until this report, which prompted me to check him out. I’m now happily listening to “Drop Kick”. He’s an exceptionally talented musician and richly deserves his MacArthur Fellowship.

  • It is debatable whether DM “inaccuracy and sensationalism” is any worse than investigative journalists in supposedly respectable news organisations like the BBC ignoring mass rape in northern English towns for years.

    Young women in Rotherham have “had it rough” but, never mind, taking a pop at the DM is more important in so-called sophisticated circles.

  • “Sax player had sex allegedly” There is no need for sarcasm. After reading her letter as printed in the Daily Mail I believe this definitely could have happened although there is still the possibility that it could be a hoax.

    The social conservatives may be right. Maybe all interactions between two people of the sex that they are attracted to should be in public areas or chaperoned, at least in situations where emotional and sexual intimacy is inadvisable, and this includes situations where it would be o.k. if the parties knew each other better but the acquaintanceship is still too new.

    In yesteryear girls were advised to “play hard to get” or “keep him guessing” about one’s feelings since that was supposed to increase male interest but that was in situations where a romantic relationship would be appropriate. However, unless the boundaries and purpose of the relationship were very clear this type of manipulation still lead to problems, especially anger and feelings of betrayal.

    Emotional manipulation (and I am not saying that Maria, the mentee in this case, was deliberately manipulative) and ambivalence of feelings in a relationship frequently whets sexual attraction but it also can lead to a lot of heartbreak.

    In any event an affair is not appropriate in a relationship where the parties are not roughly equals, and certainly when not when one party has economic or professional power of the other. Thus sex is never appropriate in a mentor-mentee relationship.

    This story has many elements of the Ashok Pai-Levine case only Coleman was more honest.

  • Saw Steve Coleman in concert in Pennsylvania on Friday. His last words after the final piece were, “I am not a crook,” while he was making the Nixon pose. Hmmm…

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