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Art Ensemble Of Chicago

The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant-garde jazz ensemble that grew out of Chicago's AACM in the late 1960s. The group continues to tour and record through 2006, despite the deaths of two of the founding members. The Art Ensemble is notable for its integration of musical styles spanning jazz's entire history and for their multi-instrumentalism, especially the use of what they termed "little instruments" in addition to the traditional jazz lineup; "little instruments" can include bicycle horns, bells, birthday party noisemakers, wind chimes, and a vast array of percussion instruments (including found objects)

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Idris Ackamoor: An Afro-Futurist Odyssey

Read "Idris Ackamoor: An Afro-Futurist Odyssey" reviewed by Chris May

In summer 2020, Idris Ackamoor will release Shaman! on Britain's Strut label. It is his third album with the post-2015 incarnation of his 1970s band, The Pyramids. It reunites Ackamoor with flautist Margaux Simmons, with whom he had co-founded The Pyramids in 1972. Ackamoor's route to Afro-Futurist jazz began in the US in ...

Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

It would be hard if not impossible to compile an Afrobeat Top Ten which was not wholly made up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums. Such was Kuti's centrality in the creation and development of Afrobeat, such was the productivity of his recording career--his catalogue totals more than fifty albums, not counting reissues and compilations--and such was ...

AACM: Together We Are Stronger

Read "AACM: Together We Are Stronger" reviewed by Chris May

With the passing in 2017 of the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Phil Cohran, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, formed in Chicago in 1965, lost the last two of the four musicians who organised its inaugural meeting. But with two succeeding generations of standard bearers stepping up to the plate, the AACM ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tomeka Reid Quartet: Old New

Read "Old New" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Tomeka Reid cut her teeth in Chicago, recording with Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell and Nicole Mitchell, but the cellist's 2016 move to New York seems to have fired her creative juices even more. The prolific Reid has appeared on nearly twenty recordings in that time, notably including the Art Ensemble of Chicago's We Are On The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Roscoe Mitchell and Ostravska Banda: Distant Radio Transmission

Read "Distant Radio Transmission" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Roscoe Mitchell, a co-founder of the AACM and Art Ensemble of Chicago, continues to discover new intersections of jazz, classical and avant-garde music with Distant Radio Transmission. As he approaches eighty years of age Mitchell has waved off time and tradition, reinventing the AEoC brand with the orchestrated—sometimes operatic—We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Brilliant Corners 2020

Read "Brilliant Corners 2020" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Brilliant Corners 2020 Various Venues jny:Belfast, N. Ireland February 27 to March 7, 2020 Maybe it's global warming, for just as the first bloom of spring in these strange times appears in February, so too, Brilliant Corners starts ever earlier. From its first, modest edition over three days ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Free Association - Vol. 2 with Michael Blake

Read "Free Association - Vol. 2 with Michael Blake" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Free Association is a series of collaborative mixtapes curated by Mondo Jazz in association with musicians and selectors of various origins. Free Association mixtapes develop as a conversation. The first selector sends a tune cherry-picked to suit, and ideally surprise, the second selector who then, in turn, returns the favor. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Four Masters and More

Read "Four Masters and More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

After a segment of 21st century music from Andy Fusco, Matt Criscuolo, Wycliffe Gordon and Fred Hersch, we go into celebration mode--saluting Sonny Rollins (with Max Roach) because he IS Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck (with some gorgeous Paul Desmond on the rarely played 'Jazz Goes To College) on their centennial, and 2020 National ...


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