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Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy: When the Spirit Returns

Read "When the Spirit Returns" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Lester Bowie led the pack of avant-garde trumpeters in his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but his Brass Fantasy output was always in a more traditional vein, even when blending elements of funk, hip-hop, soul, rock, reggae, and any other musical influences that crossed the bandleader's mind.Bowie passsed away in 1999, but two years earlier he took his Brass Fantasy into the studio and laid down two hours worth of music. When the Spirit Returns is ...

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Lester Bowie: American Gumbo

Read "American Gumbo" reviewed by Jim Santella

This two-disc package from 32 Jazz includes two fine albums from Muse Records: Fast Last! and Rope-A-Dope, which were recorded in 1974 and ’75 respectively. Both albums reflect the style of an emerging leader, a founding member of the AACM & Art Ensemble of Chicago, and a champion of the jazz avant-garde. Specific elements such as fingers running across the piano’s inside strings, scratchy bowed bass melodies, horn squeals and random squawks reflect the changes brought about in the name ...

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Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy: The Odyssey Of Funk & Popular Music, Vol. 1

Read "The Odyssey Of Funk & Popular Music, Vol. 1" reviewed by Jim Santella

The easy-going tuba saunter and its accompanying trumpet line make Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy unmistakably easy to spot. Easy to love, too. The leader’s unique vocalized trumpet antics provide comedy relief; however, Bowie’s emphasis remains on entertaining his audience through a variety of options. The Odyssey Of Funk & Popular Music, Vol. 1 incorporates R&B, doo-wop, opera, fluffy pop, punk rock, showy balladry, and rap in a jazz setting. The message, however, is simply that music is universal and speaks ...