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Art Ensemble Of Chicago The Sixth Decade review

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    Posted: 25 May 2023 at 5:18am

Art Ensemble Of Chicago: The Sixth Decade: From Paris To Paris (Live At Sons D’Hiver)

Editor's Choice

Rating: ★★★★


As the first European city to give them much-needed performance and recording opportunities in the late 1960s, Paris has a great significance in the history of Art Ensemble Of Chicago. Indeed the albums they made for the BYG label have more than stood the test of time, so this lengthy live session, spread over two CDs, which took place at the renowned Sons D’Hiver festival in the city of light, stands as a celebration of that history. It also marked the band's 50th anniversary tour. Scaled up to a 18-piece orchestra, AEC sounds as powerful, sonically, and as varied, stylistically, as at any point in those eventful decades as it presents material that shows how its distinctive blend of stately, often fraught melody and mercurial improvisation coheres with barrages of African percussion, soaring operatic vocal, whirring strings and passages of rabble rousing spoken word.

It is as much Great Black Music: All Points On The Planet as it is Ancient To Future, and while AEC doyens, multi-reedist Roscoe Mitchell and drummer Famoudou Don Moye, act as a customary centrifugal force to the music, the input of several generations of players, from flautist Nicole Mitchell to bassist Junius Paul to poet Moor Mother, also underlines the fact that AEC has long been an important collaborative ensemble. As far as the material goes, ‘We Are On The Edge’, the title track of their last album, is a startling highlight but it is the noble lament of ‘Odwalla’, the perennial signature tune that closes each gig, that still tugs at the heartstrings. To this day, AEC are making us feel as much as think.

from www.jazzwise.com

Edited by snobb - 25 May 2023 at 5:19am
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