2CD - Art Ensemble Of Chicago - The Sixth Decade: From Paris To Paris
Recorded in France in 2020 at the Son d' hiver festival, this recording celebrates the legendary group's historic ties to Paris, where it was formed in 1968.
When trumpet great Lester Bowie died in 1999, followers of the Art Ensemble of Chicago couldn't help but wonder whether the legendary quintet, which owed so much to his special and outlandish gifts, would - or should - go on. That it did, in his memory, with no loss of spirit. But the subsequent passing of two other founding members Malachi Favors Maghostut in 2004 & Joseph Jarman in 2019, made it even more difficult to envision a future for the band.
Leave it to the AEC's proud surviving members, saxophonist/composer Roscoe Mitchell and drummer/percussionist Famoudou Don Moye to keep its flame glowing. In typically bold fashion, they not only extended the life of this beloved band, they redefined it in glorious & unexpected ways. With the addition of brilliant young players including poet and spoken word artist Moor Mother, cellist Tomeka Reid and violinist Jean Cook, & esteemed elders including trumpeter Hugh Ragin, flutist Nicole Mitchell, & bassist Jaribu Shahid, AEC became a full-fledged chamber orchestra.
"Come rejoice in a higher place!" urges the magnetic Moor Mother. In both honoring the band's illustrious history & soaring to new creative heights as a 17-member aggregation, Mitchell and Moye and company do just that.
Would AEC have become the creative force it is had it not gotten the opportunity to find itself in Paris all those years ago? Will AEC return to celebrate their seventh? "We can't control the clock, everything takes place in its own time," says Mitchell. Don't be surprised if the time continues to be right for the AEC for years to come.