THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO

Avant-Garde Jazz / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO picture
Founded by Lester Bowie, groundbreaking avant-garde fixture brought invention and open space to the realm of free jazz.

Originally comprised of saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, trumpeter Lester Bowie, bassist Malachi Favors, and later, drummer Famoudou Don Moye, the Art Ensemble of Chicago enjoy a critical reputation as most influential avant-garde jazz ensemble of the 1970s and '80s. During the late '60s and early '70s, the Art Ensemble helped pioneer the fusion of jazz with European art music and indigenous African folk styles. The band also combined music from sanctified church services, minstrel shows, and bawdy houses of late 19th and early 20th century America -- with a modernist spirit and lively stage show that involved face paint and costumes as well as literally hundreds of musical instruments. A pronounced theatrical element was essential to their work. Its members attained a measure of jazz stardom on their own -- particularly
read more...
Thanks to snobb for the updates

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Online Videos

See all THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO videos

Buy THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO music

More places to buy metal & THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Discography

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO albums / top albums

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO People in Sorrow album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
People in Sorrow
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO A.A.C.M., Great Black Music - A Jackson In Your House album cover 3.09 | 4 ratings
A.A.C.M., Great Black Music - A Jackson In Your House
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Areski / Brigitte Fontaine Avec Art Ensemble Of Chicago : Comme À La Radio album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Areski / Brigitte Fontaine Avec Art Ensemble Of Chicago : Comme À La Radio
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Message to Our Folks album cover 3.09 | 4 ratings
Message to Our Folks
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Reese and the Smooth Ones album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Reese and the Smooth Ones
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Go Home album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Go Home
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Bande Sonore Originale Du Film 4.33 | 6 ratings
Bande Sonore Originale Du Film "Les Stances À Sophie"
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1970
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Certain Blacks album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Certain Blacks
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Phase One album cover 3.58 | 5 ratings
Phase One
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Art Ensemble Of Chicago With Fontella Bass album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Art Ensemble Of Chicago With Fontella Bass
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Spiritual album cover 3.57 | 2 ratings
The Spiritual
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Chi-Congo album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Chi-Congo
Avant-Garde Jazz 1972
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Tutankhamun album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Tutankhamun
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Fanfare For The Warriors album cover 3.58 | 6 ratings
Fanfare For The Warriors
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Nice Guys album cover 3.98 | 5 ratings
Nice Guys
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Full Force album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Full Force
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Third Decade album cover 3.80 | 5 ratings
The Third Decade
Avant-Garde Jazz 1984
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Naked album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Naked
Avant-Garde Jazz 1986
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Ancient To The Future: Dreaming Of The Masters Series Vol.1 album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Ancient To The Future: Dreaming Of The Masters Series Vol.1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1987
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Alternate Express album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
The Alternate Express
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Art Ensemble of Soweto album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Art Ensemble of Soweto
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO America - South Africa album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
America - South Africa
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Dreaming Of The Masters Suite album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Dreaming Of The Masters Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Dreaming of the Masters, Volume 2: Thelonious Sphere Monk album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Dreaming of the Masters, Volume 2: Thelonious Sphere Monk
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Coming Home Jamaica album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Coming Home Jamaica
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Tribute to Lester album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Tribute to Lester
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Meeting album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
The Meeting
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Sirius Calling album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Sirius Calling
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO We Are On The Edge : A 50th Anniversary Celebration album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Are On The Edge : A 50th Anniversary Celebration
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO EPs & splits

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO live albums

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Bap-Tizum album cover 4.67 | 3 ratings
Bap-Tizum
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live at Mandel Hall (aka Live) album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Mandel Hall (aka Live)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live Part 1 album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live Part 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live Part 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Part 2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Kabalaba: Live At Montreux Jazz Festival album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kabalaba: Live At Montreux Jazz Festival
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Among The People (aka Live In Milano) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Among The People (aka Live In Milano)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Urban Bushmen album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Urban Bushmen
Avant-Garde Jazz 1982
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live In Japan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Japan
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Art Ensemble Of Chicago & Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy ‎: Live At The 6th Tokyo Music Joy '90 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Art Ensemble Of Chicago & Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy ‎: Live At The 6th Tokyo Music Joy '90
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live In Berlin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Berlin
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Eda Wobu album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Eda Wobu
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Salutes The Chicago Blues Tradition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Salutes The Chicago Blues Tradition
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Hartmut Geerken & The Art Ensemble of Chicago : Zero Sun No Point (Dedicated to Mynona & Sun Ra) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hartmut Geerken & The Art Ensemble of Chicago : Zero Sun No Point (Dedicated to Mynona & Sun Ra)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Reunion - Live in Rome album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reunion - Live in Rome
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Urban Magic album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Urban Magic
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City: Live at Iridium album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City: Live at Iridium
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Fred Anderson ‎: Live At Earshot Jazz Festival, 2002 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Fred Anderson ‎: Live At Earshot Jazz Festival, 2002
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Fundamental Destiny album cover 3.57 | 2 ratings
Fundamental Destiny
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Peace Be Unto You (With Special Guest Fred Anderson) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Peace Be Unto You (With Special Guest Fred Anderson)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO re-issues & compilations

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Great Black Music (aka A Jackson In Your House / Message To Our Folks) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Great Black Music (aka A Jackson In Your House / Message To Our Folks)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Paris Session album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Paris Session
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Live (aka Live In Paris - Actuel 5 & 10) album cover 3.10 | 2 ratings
Live (aka Live In Paris - Actuel 5 & 10)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1980
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Art Ensemble Of Chicago album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
The Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Avant-Garde Jazz 1984
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Complete Live in Japan '84 album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Complete Live in Japan '84
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Art Ensemble Of Chicago album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Dexterity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dexterity
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO 1969-1970 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1969-1970
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO 1967/1968 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1967/1968
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Americans Swinging in Paris: The Pathe Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Americans Swinging in Paris: The Pathe Sessions
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Selected Recordings album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Selected Recordings
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The New Traditionalists album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The New Traditionalists
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Go Home / Chi Congo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Go Home / Chi Congo
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Early Combinations album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Early Combinations
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO A Jackson In Your House / Message To Our Folks / Reese And The Smooth Ones album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Jackson In Your House / Message To Our Folks / Reese And The Smooth Ones
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Associated Ensembles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Associated Ensembles
Avant-Garde Jazz 2018
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO We Are On The Edge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Are On The Edge
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO singles (0)

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live From The Jazz Showcase (aka In Concert)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Swim - A Musical Adventure
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Hartmut Geerken ‎: Null Sonne No Point
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Reviews

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Nice Guys

Album · 1979 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
The Art Ensemble of Chicago(AEOC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. They already played a series of gigs in US and announced upcoming European tour in October. Double album with new studio and some live recordings "We Are on the Edge" has been just released as well.

The band for all these decades was an unorthodox avant-garde celebrities of sort - their early circus-like shows and use of nontraditional sound instruments ("little instruments" - bells, bicycle horns, birthday party noisemakers,etc,etc)made them name partially around Europe as non-conformist forerunners, at the same time they were rarely supported by music critics and never experienced real commercial success. With years to come they received almost cult status as influential early avant-garde jazz band, but many newcomers are often disappointed when listening their one or another album.

There are many reasons why it happens that way, but the main one is their music worked well when evidenced live and in the times when them looked really alternative/counterculture act (i.i. late 60s -early 70s). The Western world was different and it wanted something revolutionary or even "revolutionary". They just started in right time (and in a case with Paris ca.1969 - in right place). Their music doesn't date all that well, at least some part of it.

The other reason why many their albums (to be honest - almost all) doesn't sound all that attractive today is on a peak of their early popularity they released plenty of badly recorded and edited music. All but one their albums recorded between 1969 and 1974 were released on tiny European (predominantly French) labels as BYG or America and often sound as unedited demos. In case with AEOC music bad sound mix and uninspired editing means that the listener receives a collection of muddy directless never-ending noises coming from small instruments time to time interrupted by tuneful marches and "true" instruments soloing. Those familiar with band's impressive discogs will probably agree that it is almost impossible to mention even a few really great their albums (in whole). As rule, even their better releases contain few stronger pieces and lot of fillers. At the same time, early live recordings are predominantly of bootleg quality and can be recommended for hot fans and collectors mostly.

Their first American major label release came in 1974 only (on Atlantic) and it stays one of their better works for sure. Second album has been released after five years only, and it is the one we are speaking about - "Nice Guys" on prestigious ECM! Musically it represents a wide variety of regular AEOC music, but in term of quality it is a big step ahead. Renown by their recordings exclusive airy clear sound, ECM people recorded the material in their main Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg with full respect to each of many sounds traditionally produced by band. At last the dedicated listener can hear every smallest bell's ring and car signal's call as if he's in a room where the band is playing live.

Surprisingly how much that sound/mix quality adds to band's music - being musically mostly the same on "Nice Guys" the band sounds much richer and for sure more attractively. Then, there are only 6 compositions chosen for the album and them mostly are all quite short (in AEOC terms). It means there are no long bulky "little instruments" soling at every possibility, as it was before. General band music's relaxed and improvisational nature is presented well enough but still all material is edited making it much more listenable.

The opener "Ja" contains reggae rhythms and is one of these band's songs that stays in memory for years. Less than two-minutes long "Nice Guys" is a groovy song nicely filling the gap between the opener and "Folkus" - a longer and freer composition demonstrating all the collection of band's "little instruments" and gongs sounds and excellent recording studio and ECM engineers abilities as well. And - it doesn't sound annoying or boring.

On "597-59" band runs ahead on whole cylinders with continuing reeds soloing over the groovy drums/bass shaking ground, in a true free jazz fashion. Finishes with extended solo bass dance.

"Cyp"doesn't have such busy sound as other album's compositions, it is slower,almost static with crispy sound from each instrument, free and near philosophical. "Dreaming of the Master" - the closer and longest album song, is dedicated to Miles Davis and surprisingly enough it sounds not much different from Miles himself, circa late 50s.At least in the beginning and the end - central part is dedicated to free jazz.

"Nice Guys" is a high quality representative AEOC album covering their first five years. As almost any other ECM release it has re-issued many times and it isn't a problem to find it for purchase. One better choice for newbies and anyone interested to find out why Art Ensemble of Chicago are celebrities till now. Find it, listen and then go to see them live.

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Fundamental Destiny

Live album · 2007 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Art Ensemble of Chicago were probably more cultural than purely musical act. Their jazz-circus was a part of revolution - both in jazz and on Paris streets in late 60s where they resided for few years. Having equal number of hot fans and haters,band's music always was free and catchy at the same time,traditional (pre-bop) jazz rooted and often placing entertaining/relaxation element above virtuosity.

Ensemble's phenomena till now is there are much more people knowing about them than those who really listened to their music.One of the reasons is there are only few really strong albums among their legacy. As rule, regular Art Ensemble Of Chicago's album is a bulky collection of few catchy tunes, marching dixieland,lot of directionless improvs ("different noises" are probably better tag), their trade mark "small instruments" sounds plus gospel singing,funny at their best moments and almost kind of self-parody at their worst.

"Fundamental Destiny" is one of the last band's released albums,recorded live in Germany still in 1991 though.Self-released by band in 2007 only it contains their usual relaxed eclectic mix. Main album's attraction is it represents one of unique for the band moments when they have piano player on board. And her it is not just a piano player, but renown Don Pullen, who adds some new colors to generally quite expect-able band's sound.

Just four long compositions with their signature "People In Sorrow" coming from their debut album,released in 1969. Same whistles and "small instruments" noises, which don't sound as avant-garde (as it was in late 60s) or as cheap traveling circus (as it sounded in 80s or 90s) anymore. Their attributes after more than half of the century looks like a part of historical event titled "Art Ensemble Of Chicago". Fans will like it, haters will find here another reason for their jokes, in all cases this is already history, nothing else.

On positive side,"Fundamental Destiny" is quite essential as for band's standards, album demonstrating band in a good form. Band followers will like it, but most probably this release wouldn't recruit them new fans.

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Areski / Brigitte Fontaine Avec Art Ensemble Of Chicago : Comme À La Radio

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Early French period (1969-1971) for great American band Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEOC) was their most experimental and left to listeners all series of free-form albums. One of most successful their all-time album, recorded at Pathé Marconi Studios in Boulogne on July 22, 1970 (Bande Sonore Originale Du Film "Les Stances À Sophie")and coming from "French period" is different though - soundtrack to French movie it heavily based on Fontella Bass gospel/r'n'b vocals and represents explosive mix of American jazz tradition and freer arrangements.

The other album of similar nature,released more or less at the same time is far not so well known, especially outside of France, where it was recorded and released. Nothing strange - two of main heroes here are French percussionist and vocalist Areski Belkacem and popular French art-pop vocalist Brigitte Fontaine, so it was oriented mostly to domestic listener.

If "Les Stances À Sophie" was credited to AEOC , "Comme À La Radio" is credited to Areski / Brigitte Fontaine and AEOC are stated as supporting band, what looks like logical decision."Les Stances..." demonstrates very American kind of jazz,"Comme À La Radio" is unique for its time synthesis of American free jazz and European urban music tradition (and it sounds very European-like).

In late 60s-early 70s Brigitte Fontaine was popular in France chanson and art-pop singer, not related with jazz though. It great to hear how organic her French chanson sounds in combination with American free jazz and Areski's rhythms (Areski Belkacem was one of very first percussionist introduced African rhythms to European listener). AEOC line-up improved with some French musicians and becomes even more multi-cultural but surprisingly not more eclectic - Afro-American free jazz and French urban art-pop found unique balanced sound here you can hardly imagine is possible.

This rare album was reissued on CD in France and Japan, but was never released in States and it's a real pity - AEOC fans would be really surprised founding such unusual side of great American band.

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Movies Reviews

No THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO movie reviews posted yet.

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Shouts

Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Overseas : Tamam Morning World Fusion
TOINE THYS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Back In Tunisia World Fusion
DIAGONAL
Buy this album from MMA partners
It's All Your Fault Big Band
MIKE LEDONNE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Too Close for Comfort Post Bop
GEORGE CABLES
Buy this album from MMA partners
Pathways Post Bop
MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

TOINE THYS' OVERSEAS: TEASER
TOINE THYS
snobb· 14 hours ago
Is This Love
ACUTE INFLECTIONS
snobb· 1 day ago
A Stable Genius
GREG SMITH
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us