Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Art Ensemble of Chicago

I'm sorry to say that I actually know very little about The Art Ensemble of Chicago - my exposure to them has consisted entirely of one recently acquired album and Wikipedia - but I can tell you this much: The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant garde jazz group known for their experimentation with non-traditional jazz instruments. The one album I own, Les Stances a Sophie, features vocals by Fontella Bass, timpani, flute, African and symphonic percussion, vibraphone and bagpipes. The first track, "Theme de Yoyo" is amazing; it's like a funk anthem of the 70's mashed with the screamy saxophone solos of late Coltrane. The bass thumps, the horns scream, Fontella Bass wails, and the song moves from grooving solid to avant-garde intensity seamlessly. The album was originally recorded as the soundtrack to director Moshe Misrahi's movie of the same name, but was never used in the film. It's a good thing the music was never discarded, because this is an album that fans of more experimental jazz will not want to miss.


At March 14, 2006, Blogger the scarlet pimpernel said...

thanks very much, i'm always in for some fontella!


Post a Comment

<< Home