Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

266

Art Ensemble of Chicago: Chi-Congo

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Art Ensemble of Chicago: Chi-Congo The reissue of Chi-Congo fills a very big hole in the active Art Ensemble discography. Since the mid-1970 recording, these sessions have seen light on at least five other labels in different formats. Released between Certain Blacks and Live on Affinity, Chi-Congo introduces Famoudou Don Moye as the group's permanent percussionist. "We moved towards the direction of developing as percussionists before we took on another drummer, Roscoe Mitchell said recently in an AAJ interview with Fred Jung.

The title track celebrates percussion as the band joins the new guy for a rhythm workout. Two percolating marimbas add melodic color, then a softly played flute signals Favors to lead on slippery bass. The late bassist burns through the band's dreamy soundscapes, then continues burning on "Enlorfe, Pt. 1, an AEC rave-up. After some blinding a capella playing from Favors, the others rouse and shine, beginning with a loquacious Bowie telling stories over Moye's metallic hailstorm. Various saxophones make comments, but Bowie and Moye explode.

The track fades and returns with "Enlorfe, Pt. 2, which must have been where side A of the original LP ended. Bowie finishes his thoughts and passes the baton to a short alto blast, followed by a short soprano run, and it's back to Bowie. Marimbas also come and go. Bowie's mute brings down the intensity in a duo with a bowing Favors. A flute and whispering cymbals replace Bowie, who returns for a dramatic coda which melts into the somber opening of "Hippatripp. The grays turn bright like a sunrise as the Ensemble engages. After some gleeful bicycle horn toots, Mitchell and Jarman wail on altos, soon joined by Bowie blaring.

A classic recording by anyone's estimation, from the past comes a reminder from the Art Ensemble, of virtuosic improvisation's power to communicate joy.


Track Listing: Chi-Congo; Enlorfe, Pt. 1; Enlorfe, Pt. 2; Hippatripp.

Personnel: Lester Bowie: trumpet, percussion; Famoudou Don Moye: percussion; Joseph Jarman: reeds, percussion; Roscoe Mitchell: reeds and percussion; Malachi Favors: bass, percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Fuel 2000 Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Intermission" CD/LP/Track Review Intermission
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Gamble and The Rhythm Serenaders
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "I Long to See You" CD/LP/Track Review I Long to See You
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 11, 2016
Read "Roma-Rio" CD/LP/Track Review Roma-Rio
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!