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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell: Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

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Composer and flutist Nicole Mitchell has released her magnum opus with the provocative and stirring Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds. The single suite is a musical dramatization of the futuristic allegory that Mitchell wrote for the album. It is a short story set in the year 2099 and is about the symbolic struggle between the decaying and violent old order and the peace and vibrancy of an egalitarian society. The members of the ensemble build together poignant and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble + Ensemble Laborintus: Moments Of Fatherhood

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Not content with being one of the foremost performers on her instrument, flutist Nicole Mitchell is also building an impressive body of work for larger ensembles. Moments Of Fatherhood takes its place in a distinguished lineage that includes Arc Of O (Rogue Art, 2012), Three Compositions (Rogue Art, 2013), and Xenogenesis Suite (Firehouse 12, 2008). On this occasion, Mitchell combines a scaled down version of her Black Earth Ensemble with the French contemporary music group Ensemble Laborintus to form a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed: Artifacts

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Flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed are three of the most prominent members of the third generation of Association for Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). Each one is a consummate musician; equally adept at composing and improvising. Each one of them has forged their boldly unique artistic path with an instantly recognizable soundTheir collaborative album Artifacts is a compelling and exquisite work that augments their innovative individual styles with a superb almost telepathic camaraderie. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections: The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson

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Sonic Projections must be flautist Nicole Mitchell's hardest blowing band. For their second outing after Emerald Hills (Rogue Art, 2010) she draws inspiration from another hard blowing source in Chicago legend Fred Anderson. Not only a mentor to many young musicians in the Windy City, the saxophonist also ran the renowned Velvet Lounge tavern. That required a whole different order of skills to keep it going for so long: negotiation, organization, graft and resourcefulness in the face of gangsters and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble: Intergalactic Beings

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Intergalactic Beings forms the second chapter in flutist Nicole Mitchell's science fiction derived discographical strand. Like the first, Xenogenesis Suite (Firehouse 12, 2008), it showcases Mitchell the composer, again drawing her inspiration from the Afrofuturist novels of Octavia Butler, in which survivors of nuclear holocaust are plucked from earth by aliens who believe that interbreeding is the only way to save the humans from themselves. Commissioned by the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the recording documents the premier at the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where

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Sisters Where forms another installment in the fertile collaboration between French bassist Joëlle Léandre and American flutist Nicole Mitchell, following on from Before After (Rogue Art, 2011) and Flowing Stream (Leo Records, 2014). One enduring feature of the pairing is the attractive opposition of high and low ends represented by their respective axes, although of course Léandre can effortlessly traverse that divide with her virtuosic bow handling. What further helps make the session work so well is that each includes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nicole Mitchell: Engraved In The Wind

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As a musician, flutist Nicole Mitchell brooks no constraints to her artistry. Not content with large scale orchestral works, such as Arc of O (Rogue Art, 2012), small group interaction with her Indigo Trio and mid-sized ensembles exemplified by her Black Earth Ensemble on Three Compositions (Rogue Art, 2013), she now takes on the ultimate challenge for the single line instrumentalist: the solo album. Of course, it's a misnomer to suggest that Mitchell can only follow one tack at once, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Denis Fournier / Nicole Mitchell: Watershed

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Flautist Nicole Mitchell has found a supportive outlet in the Paris-based Rogue Art imprint, with her past outings including Anaya (2009), Emerald Hills (2010), The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest (2012) and Arc Of O (2012), and she is the most well-known name on Watershed. However she sits second in the billing below French percussionist Denis Fournier who contributes three out of five originals on the 51-minute 2011 concert recording from Junas in southern France. A long-time aficionado of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nicole Mitchell: Arc Of O

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Nicole MitchellArc Of ORogue Art2012Subtitled “for improvisers, chamber orchestra and electronics," flutist Nicole Mitchell's genre-busting Arc Of O resonates a little with the almost forgotten Third Stream. Coined by composer/educator Gunther Schuller as a term for a synthesis of classical music and jazz at the end of the 1950s, the label has been subsumed within the jazz world's ever increasing eclecticism which sees all cultures as fair game. Some of the first ...


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