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Revolutionary Ensemble: Vietnam

Read "Vietnam" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The release of this 1971 recording of Revolutionary Ensemble's Vietnam ought to have a special significance. Two wars are being fought, and the children of many families are being put in harm's way. The “stamping out the terrorism" that violently assaulted the USA provides justifiable reason for conflict. Still the specter of Vietnam looms large. Almost 50 years after the event, the word “Vietnam" sends chills down the spine. So much more when the horrors of that conflict are brought ...

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Revolutionary Ensemble: Vietnam

Read "Vietnam" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The seeds for the Revolutionary Ensemble were sown when Sunny Murray introduced violinist Leroy Jenkins to Sirone. The two found common musical ground that took off from several genres and became encapsulated in one body. At first they worked with Frank Clayton, but the drummer was ultimately replaced by Jerome Cooper.

Vietnam is the group's first recording. Divided into two parts the music moves across a wide expanse. Fluidity and fractured movement are put into a melting pot. What emerges ...

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Revolutionary Ensemble: Vietnam and Beyond the Boundary of Time

Read "Revolutionary Ensemble: Vietnam and Beyond the Boundary of Time" reviewed by Clifford Allen

It could easily be argued that the “loft jazz" era of the '70s was a direct product of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), both in its moral structure and its eventual fragmentation. Loft spaces, artist-produced concerts and artist-owned labels were self-reliance projects, a cornerstone of the AACM. Furthermore, the relocation of many AACM musicians to New York necessarily changed the sonic waters, toward spaciousness and somewhat chamber music-like aesthetics in the bustling free music of lower ...

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The Revolutionary Ensemble: And Now ...

Read "And Now ..." reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The recordings the Revolutionary Music Ensemble made in the '70s were adventurous and daring. Having stamped their credentials, the members of the group went their separate ways before that decade came to a close and pursued individual careers. Now, more than twenty years after their groundbreaking recording of The People's Republic, they stir the waters once again.

If there is one trait is in evidence here, it is the accessibility of the compositions. Though they ascend from the ...

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Revolutionary Ensemble: And Now...

Read "And Now..." reviewed by Andrey Henkin

When the Revolutionary Ensemble reformed at the last Vision Festival after 27 years, it was a special occasion, a novelty. It was felt that this could be more than a one-off reunion and that the band that spearheaded the chamber jazz movement could make a more permanent go of it. To that end, Pi Recordings brought them into the studio. The result is the group's sixth record for their sixth record label, one run by individuals still in adolescence when ...

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Revolutionary Ensemble: The Psyche

Read "The Psyche" reviewed by Rex  Butters

When Leroy Jenkins brought his AACM ways with him to New York, he altered that city’s musical landscape forever. Bringing the New Thing as the Chicagoans played it, he formed a trio that survived through the ‘70’s. On bass, Sirone brought an authority and skill level that landed him in Cecil Taylor’s band. Multi-dimensional drummer Jerome Cooper occasionally rose from the drum stool to sit the piano bench, a walk he later eliminated bringing synthesizers into his drum set. Here, ...

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Revolutionary Ensemble: The Psyche

Read "The Psyche" reviewed by Andrey Henkin

When the Revolutionary Ensemble formed in the early ‘70s, the New Thing in jazz, disbursed mainly through the ESP label, had flamed brightly, been co-opted by political influences and developed into a more violent strain of free improvisation, a move from which it has yet to recover. What was happening concurrently was a total acceptance of any instrument into the jazz fold. Beneficiary of this benevolence was Leroy Jenkins, heir to the heritage of Stuff Smith but also the first ...