Wednesday, April 06, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Artist:The Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Album:Restoration Ruin/Bap-Tizm

If you are interested in exploring avant garde jazz, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago is a good place to start. They started out in the late 60s and continued into the new millennium. They normally close all their shows with Odwalla which first appeared on the 1972 album Bap-Tizm. The Art Ensemble Of Chicago came out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Sax player Roscoe Mitchell recorded the 1966 album Sound with trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors. In 1967 they were joined by sax player Joseph Jarman and drummer Phillip Wilson. Wilson was replaced by Don Moye in 1970. Other than that, this was the lineup until Jarman's 1993 retirement. They first recorded as The Art Ensemble Of Chicago in 1969 for the French label BYG Actuel distributed in the US by Freedom Records. They were living in France at the time and the name was suggested by the label. They recorded the a 1970 album with Bowie's singer wife Fontella Bass. They moved back to the US in 1972 and they signed with Atlantic Records. Bap-Tizm was the first of two albums for Atlantic and today is considered a classic. It was recorded at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in Michigan. Odwalla was written by Mitchell and as I said, they usually close all their shows with it. The vocals are by Moye. Unfortunately Bap-Tizm is not available on its own on CD. Instead Collectables has chosen to pair it as a twofer with the 1968 Keith Jarrett album Restoration Ruin where Jarrett chooses to sing instead of play piano. That's not a very pleasant surprise for jazz fans. The Art Ensemble of Chicago also recorded for ECM and the Japanese label DIW. Jarman retired in in 1993 but he returned in 2004. Bowie died in 1999 and Favors died in 2004. The Art Ensemble Of Chicago last recorded in 2006. Mitchell is still active but it looks like the Art Ensemble is not active right now. I suppose he could reform them if he wanted. Here's The Art Ensemble Of Chicago with Amina Claudine Myers on vocals performing Odwalla at Jazz Festival Lugano in Switzerland July 1993.

No comments:

Post a Comment