All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

247

Art Ensemble of Chicago: Kabalaba

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
With the recent passings of founding members Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors Maghostut, Art Ensemble of Chicago's reissues take on new resonance. With 1974's Kabalaba , the Art Ensemble performs with Muhal Richard Abrams at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival before an apparently appreciative and enthusiastic audience. With the elder musician present, the Art Ensemble more sincerely bulldozes the borders while downplaying its signature humor and theatrics.

The continuous performance begins with a segment called "Kabalaba-Bees." Several of the musicians buzz and blow with Abrams entering with a reflective melody at the end that transitions into "Interlude," a beautiful piano, windchime, and percussion piece. Warm alto flute leads into "Kaba Song," a soporific excursion that abruptly switches focus to a muscular Maghostut solo. Suddenly, Abrams and Moye jump in, with the trio following the pianist's Bud Powellish lead. The whole ensemble joins for the extended "Theme for Sco," a high energy workout driven first by Jarman on soprano sax. With the rhythm section showering sparks, the soprano sprays gasoline. Bowie makes a brief appearance over Abrams jagged spinning piano line, then Mitchell stretches the tenor with occasional musical comments from Bowie.

Abrams' whirlpool sets the stage for a bass sax solo accompanied by shouts, whistles, and rattles. A Moye tour de force follows with "Sun Precondition One." Maghostut and Mitchell offer a thoughtful "Interlude." A hornet's nest of tenor unfolds on "Improvisation A2," while Bowie goes acapella on "Mal's Delight." "Kabalaba Speaks" takes the band through a group improvisation with all voices in full song.

The sound on this 30 year old recording occasionally veers between muddy and thin, but the sounds burn with the fire of the moment.


Track Listing: Kabalaba-Bees; Interlude; Kaba Song; Interlude; Theme for SCO; Duo; Sun Precondition One; Interlude; Improvisation A2; Mal's Delight; Kabalaba Speaks.

Personnel: Lester Bowie, trumpet and percussion; Malachi Favors Maghostut, bass and percussion; Joseph Jarman, alto, tenor, sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, percussion; Roscoe Mitchell, alto, tenor and sopranino saxophones, flute, and percussion; Famoudou Don Moye, Sun Percussion: gongs, whistles, bells, congas, bongoes, bike horns, timbales; Muhal Richard Abrams, piano

Title: Kabalaba | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: AECO

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Solano Canyon" CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Blued Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Blued Dharma
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Improcreations" CD/LP/Track Review Improcreations
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "Outside the Soiree" CD/LP/Track Review Outside the Soiree
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "No Mundo Dos Sons" CD/LP/Track Review No Mundo Dos Sons
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "End Game of the Anthropocene" CD/LP/Track Review End Game of the Anthropocene
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 8, 2018