(CN) – Two musicians bootlegged live private recordings of jazz great Ornette Coleman and continue to offer the illicit materials for sale, the bandleader and his son say in a federal lawsuit.
In a federal complaint filed in White Plains, N.Y., on May 19, Denardo Coleman, the eldest son and guardian of Ornette Coleman, accused drummer Amir Ziv, trumpeter Jordan McLean and System Dialing Records of using live recordings of Ornette Coleman in violation of the federal Anti-Bootlegging Act.
Denardo says Ziv and McLean are “fixing, reproducing, communicating, publicly distributing, selling, and trafficking in unauthorized recording of live musical performances” by Ornette Coleman.
The musical work is entitled “New Vocabulary” and is listed for sale in its entirety or as individual songs in several downloadable formats at the System Dialing Records’ website.
The site claims the work is “a new collaboration” by Ornette Coleman, McLean, and Ziv. Adam Holzman plays on piano on three of its 11 tracks. The site also says the work is produced by McLean and Ziv.
Coleman’s son says McLean and Ziv “attended a number of private ‘jam sessions'” at Ornette Coleman’s home in 2009 and made unauthorized audio recordings of one or more live performances.
McLean and Ziv then made and sold copies of the infringing recordings and continue to do so after being asked to stop, Denardo says.
Denardo says McLean and Ziv also create confusion among consumers by titling the recording “New Vocabulary” and by using the name of System Dialing for their enterprise. Ornette Coleman’s last two authorized studio recordings were entitled “Sound Grammar” and “Tone Dialing.”
Denardo Coleman accuses McLean, Ziv and System Dialing Records of violating the Anti-Bootlegging Act and the Lanham Act.
He also accuses them of unfair completion and violating New York’s General Business Law.
Coleman seeks injunctive relief, actual damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Ornette Coleman is an esteemed saxophonist who was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame by Down Beat magazine in 1969 and in 2007 won a Pulitzer Prize in music and Grammy. The University of Michigan awarded him an honorary PhD in music in 2010.
He recorded more than 50 albums and is best known for his 1960 LP, “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation,” which launched the free jazz genre and is noted for extensive solos and group improvisation.
Oscar-winning director Shirley Clarke in 1985 filmed a documentary about Coleman entitled “Ornette: Made in America.”
The New York Supreme Court in 2013 appointed Denardo Coleman as his father’s guardian and gave him legal control of Ornette Coleman’s property.
Attorney Brian D. Caplan of Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt filed the complaint on Coleman’s behalf in the Southern New York District Court.
Caplan was not immediately available for comment.
Ziv and McLean had not responded to requests for comment before publication.
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