The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City: Live At Iridium
The Art Ensemble of Chicago’s, “non-cognitive aspects of the city” is a double CD representing two sets recorded during the band’s rare six-night engagement, March 30th through April 4th 2004, at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. Engagements of that length are rare nowadays and Pi Recordings was anxious to be able to hear the band develop their sound in front of an audience in one city for a week straight.
Rarer even than that though is the induction of new members, Corey Wilkes (t) and Jaribu Shahid (b) into a band with a history and influence as deep as the Art Ensemble’s. We were there all six nights, 14 sets in all, and it was amazing to see the band coalesce and grow over the course of the week. Early in the week, the musicians were understandably somewhat tentative, which one would expect with new musicians coming to a music that is so unique and so drenched in its own ritual and tradition. But by the time of these recordings on Friday and Saturday nights, the band was playing as one with power and cohesion. Some will inevitably try to compare Jaribu to Malachi and Corey to Lester, a fool’s errand for sure. Both bring their own strengths and voice to the music and neither try to copy the style of their predecessors.
Corey would tell us later that he was in awe that entire week, as it seemed that the entire extended AACM family attended the shows. In fact, Corey said he gained a great deal of confidence after Lester Bowie’s wife Deborah encouraged him to carry on the trumpet tradition in the band and thanked him for doing his own thing and not trying to imitate Lester. These same musicians, two years after this recording, continue to perform and perpetuate the legacy of The Art Ensemble of Chicago.
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