Art Ensemble of Chicago

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Art Ensemble of Chicago
Art Ensemble of Chicago moers78.jpg
Art Ensemble of Chicago, New Jazz Festival Moers (Moers Festival), 1978
Background information
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Avant-garde jazz, free jazz
Years active1969–present
Labels BYG, Nessa, Delmark, ECM, AECO, Pi
Members
Past members
Website www.artensembleofchicago.com

The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant-garde jazz group that grew out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the late 1960s. [1] The ensemble integrates many jazz styles and plays many instruments, including "little instruments": bells, bicycle horns, birthday party noisemakers, wind chimes, and various forms of percussion. The musicians would wear costumes and face paint while performing. These characteristics combined to make the ensemble's performances both aural and visual. While playing in Europe in 1969, five hundred instruments were used. [2]

Contents

History

Members of what was to become the Art Ensemble performed together under various band names in the mid-sixties, as members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). They performed on the 1966 album Sound, as the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. The Sextet included saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, trumpeter Lester Bowie, and bassist Malachi Favors. For the next year, they played as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble. In 1967, they were joined by fellow AACM members Joseph Jarman (saxophone) and Phillip Wilson (drums) and recorded for Nessa Records.

All of the musicians were multi-instrumentalists. Jarman and Mitchell's primary instruments were alto and tenor saxophone, respectively, but they played other saxophones (from the small sopranino to the large bass saxophone), and the flute and clarinet. In addition to trumpet, Bowie played flugelhorn, cornet, shofar, and conch shells. Favors added touches of banjo and bass guitar. Most of them dabbled in piano, synthesizer, and other keyboards, and they all played percussion instruments.

They were known for wearing costumes and makeup on stage. Member Joseph Jarman described part of their style:

So what we were doing with that face painting was representing everyone throughout the universe, and that was expressed in the music as well. That's why the music was so interesting. It wasn't limited to Western instruments, African instruments, or Asian instruments, or South American instruments, or anybody's instruments. [3]

In 1967, Wilson left the group to join Paul Butterfield's band, and for a period the group was a quartet without a full-time drummer. Jarman and Mitchell served as artistic directors at the cooperative summer camp Circle Pines Center in Delton, Michigan, in August of 1968, during the same week that the Democratic Convention was in Chicago. After a farewell concert at the Unitarian Church in Evanston, Illinois, in fall, 1968, the remaining group traveled to Paris. [4] In Paris, the ensemble was based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier. [5] [6] In France, they became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The impetus for the name change came from a French promoter who added "of Chicago" to their name for descriptive purposes, but the new name stuck because band members felt that it better reflected the cooperative nature of the group. In Paris, the ensemble was based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier [7] and they recorded for the Freedom and BYG labels. They also recorded Comme à la radio with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem but without a drummer until percussionist Don Moye became a member of the group in 1970. During that year, they recorded the albums Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass and Les Stances a Sophie with singer Fontella Bass, who was Lester Bowie's wife. The latter was the soundtrack from the French movie of the same title.

At the 2017 Kongsberg Jazzfestival Art Ensemble of Chicago Kongsberg Jazzfestival 2017 (001645).jpg
At the 2017 Kongsberg Jazzfestival

Fifty years on

Lester Bowie died of liver cancer in 1999. [8] Malachi Favors died in 2004 of pancreatic cancer. [9] Joseph Jarman died on January 9, 2019 of respiratory failure. [10] [11]

As of 2017-2019 Michel and Moye remained active, with new and previous collaborators as guest under the name Art Ensemble of Chicago - 50th Anniversary Large Ensemble. They released an album in 2019: [12] [13] [14] [15]

Guests:

Discography

TitleYearLabel
Sound - Roscoe Mitchell Sextet1966 Delmark
Old/Quartet - Roscoe Mitchell1967 Nessa
Numbers 1 & 2 - Lester Bowie1967Nessa
Early Combinations - Art Ensemble1967Nessa
Congliptious - Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble1968Nessa
A Jackson in Your House 1969 BYG Actuel
Tutankhamun 1969 Freedom
The Spiritual 1969Freedom
People in Sorrow 1969Nessa
Message to Our Folks 1969BYG-Actuel
Reese and the Smooth Ones 1969BYG-Actuel
Eda Wobu 1969 JMY
Comme à la radio 1970 Saravah
Certain Blacks 1970 America
Go Home 1970Galloway
Chi-Congo 1970Paula
Les Stances a Sophie 1970Nessa
Live in Paris 1970Freedom
Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass 1970America
Phase One 1971America
Live at Mandel Hall 1972Delmark
Bap-Tizum 1972 Atlantic
Fanfare for the Warriors 1973Atlantic
Kabalaba 1974 AECO
Nice Guys 1978 ECM
Live in Berlin 1979 West Wind
Full Force 1980ECM
Urban Bushmen 1980ECM
Among the People 1980Praxis
The Third Decade 1984ECM
The Complete Live in Japan recorded 19841985, expanded 1988 DIW
Naked 1986DIW
Ancient to the Future 1987DIW
The Alternate Express 1989DIW
Art Ensemble of Soweto 1990DIW
America - South Africa 1990DIW
Dreaming of the Masters Suite 1990DIW
Thelonious Sphere Monk: Dreaming of the Masters Series Vol. 2 with Cecil Taylor 1990DIW
Live at the 6th Tokyo Music Joy 1990DIW
Salutes the Chicago Blues Tradition 1993AECO
Coming Home Jamaica 1996Atlantic
Urban Magic 1997 Musica
Tribute to Lester 2001ECM
Reunion 2003 Around jazz / Il Manifesto
The Meeting 2003 Pi
Sirius Calling 2004Pi
Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City recorded 20042006Pi
Fundamental Destiny , recorded 1991 with Don Pullen [15] 2007AECO
Live At Earshot Jazz Festival, 2002 with Fred Anderson [15] 2007 Milo
Peace Be Unto You with Fred Anderson [15] 2008AECO
We Are On The Edge (A 50th Anniversary Celebration) [15] 2019Pi

Further reading

Films

Related Research Articles

<i>Live in Paris</i> (Art Ensemble of Chicago album) 1974 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Live in Paris is a double live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Paris and first released on the BYG Actuel label in Japan as two separate volumes in 1974. It was issued on CD by Charly Records under the title 'Live In Paris' presumably to avoid confusion with the Delmark 'Live At Delmark Hall' album, and then later issued in the US, with the same artwork and design, by Fuel 2000 Records in the US. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Fontella Bass and Don Moye. Despite reissues identifying it as "Live In Paris" and claiming a date of 5 October 1969, it was actually a radio broadcast from performances in Chateauvailon on 13 August 1970.

<i>Les Stances a Sophie</i> 1970 soundtrack album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Les Stances a Sophie is a 1970 soundtrack album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Paris for a French film of the same name directed by Moshé Mizrahi. It was released on the Pathé Marconi label in France and on Nessa Records in the U.S. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Fontella Bass and Don Moye. Moshé Mizrahi commissioned the original music for the film when the band had only two weeks left on their French visas. It was reissued on CD in 2000 by Universal Sound records, mastered from a vinyl source.

<i>Fanfare for the Warriors</i> 1973 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Fanfare for the Warriors is a 1973 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago first released on the Atlantic label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye along with AACM leader Muhal Richard Abrams.

<i>Chi-Congo</i> 1972 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Chi-Congo is an album recorded in Paris in 1970 by the Art Ensemble of Chicago which was first released in 1972 on the French Decca label, later reissued in the US on the Paula label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Don Moye.

<i>Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass</i> 1971 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass is a 1970 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Paris and released on the America label in 1971 then reissued in the US on Prestige Records the following year. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Fontella Bass, and Don Moye.

<i>Naked</i> (Art Ensemble of Chicago album) 1986 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Naked is a 1986 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye.

<i>Ancient to the Future</i> 1987 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Ancient to the Future: Dreaming of the Masters Series Vol. 1 is a 1987 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye with Bahnamous Lee Bowie guesting.

<i>The Alternate Express</i> 1989 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

The Alternate Express is a 1989 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye.

<i>Phase One</i> (Art Ensemble of Chicago album) 1971 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Phase One is an album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Paris in February 1971 and originally released on the French America label then reissued in the US on Prestige Records the following year. It features Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye performing two side-long pieces dedicated to John Coltrane and Albert Ayler respectively.

<i>The Complete Live in Japan</i> 1988 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

The Complete Live in Japan is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Tokyo, Japan in 1984 and released in 1988 on the Japanese DIW label. The original single LP titled Live in Japan was originally issued in 1985.

<i>Art Ensemble of Soweto</i> 1990 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago with the Amabutho Male Chorus

Art Ensemble of Soweto is a 1990 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Amabutho Male Chorus released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Don Moye with vocals by Elliot Ngubane, Kay Ngwazene, Welcome "Max" Bhe Bhe, Zacheuus Nyoni and Joe Leguabe.

<i>Thelonious Sphere Monk: Dreaming of the Masters Series Vol. 2</i> 1991 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Thelonious Sphere Monk: Dreaming of the Masters Series Vol. 2 is an album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Cecil Taylor released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye with Cecil Taylor guesting on piano, vocals and percussion.

<i>Dreaming of the Masters Suite</i> 1991 studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Dreaming of the Masters Suite: Music Inspired by and Dedicated to John Coltrane is an album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago released on the Japanese DIW label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye.

<i>Fundamental Destiny</i> Live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Fundamental Destiny is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Don Pullen recorded in June 1991 in Frankfurt, Germany and released in 2007 on the group's AECO label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Don Moye with Don Pullen joining on piano.

<i>Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City</i> 2006 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City: Live at the Iridium is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in April, 2004 at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City and released in 2006 on the Pi Recordings label. It features performances by Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell and Don Moye with trumpeter Corey Wilkes and bassist Jaribu Shahid replacing the late Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors Maghostut.

<i>Live at Mandel Hall</i> 1972 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Live at Mandel Hall is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded at the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall on their return to Chicago from Europe in January 1972 and released on the Delmark label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors and Don Moye.

<i>Kabalaba</i> 1978 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Kabalaba is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1974 and released on their AECO label in 1978. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Don Moye along with Muhal Richard Abrams.

<i>Live in Berlin</i> (Art Ensemble of Chicago album) 1991 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Live in Berlin is a live album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in March 1979 and first released on the West Wind label in 1991.

<i>Reunion</i> (Art Ensemble of Chicago album) 2003 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Reunion is a live album recorded at Centro Rai di Produzione Radiofonica in Rome in January 2003 by the Art Ensemble of Chicago and released on the Italian Around Jazz label. It marked the return of Joseph Jarman to the group and features performances by Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye with Baba Sissoko. It is the first live Art Ensemble album to be released following the death of founding member Lester Bowie.

<i>Urban Magic</i> 2003 live album by Art Ensemble of Chicago

Urban Magic is a live album recorded on 4 June 1997 in Laroche-sur-Yon, France by the Art Ensemble of Chicago and originally released with the March 2003 issue of the Italian magazine Musica Jazz. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye and would be the group's last release featuring Bowie who died in 1999.

References

  1. Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 21. ISBN   0-141-00646-3.
  2. Jost, Ekkehard (1975). Free Jazz (Studies in Jazz Research 4). Universal Edition. p. 177.
  3. Joseph Jarman interview Archived March 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. Wilmer, Valerie (1977). As Serious As Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz. Quartet. pp. 122–123.
  5. Jost, Ekkehard (1975). Free Jazz (Studies in Jazz Research 4). Universal Edition. p. 167.
  6. Wilmer, Valerie (1977). As Serious As Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz. Quartet. pp. 122–123.
  7. Jost, Ekkehard (1975). Free Jazz (Studies in Jazz Research 4). Universal Edition. p. 167.
  8. Voce, Steve (12 November 1999). "Obituary: Lester Bowie" . The Independent . Archived from the original on June 14, 2022.
  9. "Obituary: Malachi Favors". The Guardian . 11 February 2004. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  10. Chinen, Nate (January 11, 2019). "Joseph Jarman, 81, Dies; Mainstay of the Art Ensemble of Chicago". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  11. Jazz Musician and Buddhist Priest Joseph Jarman Dead at 81: Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  12. Chinen, Nate (October 6, 2017). "The Art Ensemble of Chicago Celebrates 50 Years Of Channeling And Challenging History". National Public Radio . Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  13. Shteamer, Hank (March 25, 2019). "The Art Ensemble of Chicago on the Past and Future of Their 'Great Black Music'". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  14. "The Art Ensemble of Chicago". AKAMU SAS di Lofoco Alberto. 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 "The Art Ensemble Of Chicago". Discogs. 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-21.