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Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris


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Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris
Recorded live in Paris in February 2020, The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris. presents Art Ensemble Of Chicago—as defiantly daring avant-garde as that first night in Paris, 1969 —giving no quarter whatsoever in their lifelong, diasporic pursuit of creation unbound.

Breaking at the pace of a dream, surviving co-founders saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and drummer Famoudou Don Moye return to the moment of conception with a two hour, double disc set The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris, a sprawling, decades-spanning, mind- spinning live celebration of over fifty gregarious years.

So the music is never really what the listener suspects or expects an AEC concert to be—thus its beauty, its challenge, its mission. Blending, merging, immersing, the aesthetic is a percussive wave which encompasses all—chamber, free jazz, opera, chorale, traditional, spoken word. All musics from Chicago, Haiti, the Congo. The story of the drum . . . The anthropology of dance . . . rap spoken-word artist Moor Mother on the riveting "I Feel Like Dancing" while Moye, and fellow hyper active percussionists Dudu Kouaté, Enoch Williamson, Babu Atiba, and Doussou Touré kiln an unrelenting drive. Mitchell and cellist Tomeka Reid herald the loping "We Are On The Edge" a bold testament to the female force which Moor once again drives with an undeniably ancient force. We are on the edge of an open fire . . .on the edge of victory.

Always in and of its own time, bass vocalist Roco Córdova takes a deeply operatic turn on "Variations and Sketches from a Bamboo Terrace" before pianist Brett Carson breaks the piece in half, his extended provocations leading the way to a full string ensemble coda. Spiraling, circular rhythms provide the airspace for Moor once again to take centerstage as "I Greet You with Open Arms" melts the 21st century AEC into the 20th century version (with haunting intimations and incantations of the ancestors, namely late bassist Malachi Favors and trumpeter Lester Bowie with Mitchell leading the band into the bass driven, decisively funky sway of "Funky AECO."

Highlights abound. Mitchell's fluid portrait "Leola,]"—from Nine To Get Ready, (ECM, 1999)—confounds and clarifies with its "Also sprach Zarathustra" like strings and vocals. The improvisatory etudes "Kumpa" and "Stormy Weather" hold ones attention and free it as do "Introduction to Cards" and "Cards." AEC has lost none of its fervor over the years, a statement The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris amply proves.

Track Listing

CD 1:
Leola; Introduction to Cards; Cards; Improvisation One; Ritual "Great Black Music"; Kumpa / Stormy Weather; New Coming; Jigiba / I Feel Like Dancing; Bulawayo Korokokoko.
CD 2:
We Are on the Edge; Variations and Sketches from the Bamboo Terrace; I Greet you with Open Arms; Funky AECO; Improvisation Two.


Art Ensemble Of Chicago
band / ensemble / orchestra
Roscoe Mitchell
Moor Mother
poet / spoken word
Hugh Ragin
Silvia Bolognesi
bass, acoustic
Junius Paul
bass, electric
Jaribu Shahid
bass, acoustic
Eddy Kwon
Jean Cook
Additional Instrumentation

Simon Sieger: trombone, tuba; Roco Córdova: vocals (bass); Erina Newkirk: vocals (soprano); Dudu Kouaté: percussions; Enoch Williamson: percussions: Babu Atiba: percussions; Doussou Touré: percussions; Steed Cowart - (direction).

Album information

Title: The Sixth Decade: From Paris to Paris | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Rogue Art



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