European CD reissue.
In 1970, the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago were living as expatriates in Paris. The group had only recently expanded to its permanent quintet status with the addition of drummer/percussionist Don Moye when they were asked by New Wave director Moshé Mizrahi to provide the soundtrack for his movie Les Stances a Sophie. The result was one of the landmark records of the burgeoning avant-garde of the time and, simply put, one of the greatest jazz albums ever.
On two of the tracks, the Art Ensemble is joined by vocalist Fontella Bass, at the time the wife of trumpeter Lester Bowie and riding the success of her pop-soul hit "Rescue Me." She's featured most prominently on the opening number, "Theme de Yoyo," an astounding piece that has achieved legendary status as the finest fusion of funk and avant-garde jazz ever recorded. The mix is indeed seamless, with Moye and Favors laying down a throbbing, infectious groove, Bass singing the surreally erotic lyrics with enormous soul, and the horn players soloing with ecstatic abandon.
The remaining pieces cover a wide range stylistically with no less beauty and imagination, including two variations on a theme by Monteverdi, intense free improvising, and soft, deeply probing sonic investigations. Their extensive knowledge of prior jazz styles, love of unusual sound sources (the so-called "little instruments), and fearless exploration of the furthest reaches of both instrumental and compositional possibilities came into full flower on this record.
Brian Olewnick ~ AllMusicGuide
|Brand||Soul Jazz Records|
Be The First To Review This Product!
Help other Birdland Records users shop smarter by writing reviews for products you have purchased.