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The Art Ensemble of Chicago

℗ 1972 Atlantic Records SD 1639

℗ 2013 barin.livejournal.com BR LLJ 99941 2

The Art Ensemble of Chicago • 1972 • Bap-Tizum

This was the Art Ensemble's breakthrough - however short-lived - onto a major U.S. label (Atlantic), as well as a document of the freewheeling band's first appearance at an American festival (the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival). With activist John Sinclair delivering the introduction, politics is in the air; the crowd is young and predisposed to radical ideas and the Art Ensemble holds back nothing in a chaotic, meandering, exasperating, outrageous - and, thus, always fascinating - performance. The band seems to be clearing its collective throat in the first half of the concert, opening with a battering all-percussion prelude. Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors go at it at length in a staggered, honking tenor sax/bass duet on 'Unanka,' and Mitchell ratchets up the gears into screeching overdrive on 'Oouffnoon.' Finally, after a mocking intro by Lester Bowie, the 15-minute 'Ohnedaruth' puts the Art Ensemble on full, ultra-colorful, wailing, free-form display (complete with a few vocal obscenities) before signing off with the 'relatively' straight-ahead 'Odwalla.' It is interesting that Atlantic would lease these way-out recordings to Koch at a time (1998) when it was simultaneously putting out new, safer-sounding releases by the current Art Ensemble and its members.

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