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February 3, 2009

"Bap-Tizum" - Art Ensemble of Chicago

Rolling off the needle of my turntable, this disc delivers a live performance by the group during the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. Unedited and exhibited in its entirety, the set showcases an adrenaline rush of tunes that leave the audience (as well as myself, the listener) begging for more.

The band here is appearing for the first time shortly after returning from a four year stay in Europe and also introduces Don Moye -- to America -- on drums (who provides the outstanding drum ensemble composition, Nfamoudou-Boudougou to start the set). Particularly, I love Roscoe Mitchell's Unanka, allowing a simplistic, slow tempo bass line while allowing Mitchell freely distort the tune.

Things remain timid with Ooufnoon while the two reedist and Bowie produce sounds hardly imaginable on their instruments. For the climax, the group erupts with Ohnedaruth, a fast tempo, 15 minute free for all track that displays the group's stamina and devotion to their intentions. Odwalla contains a more conventional approach as the tune closes out the set. It show Mitchell's universal abilities as a composer which further demonstrates the ensembles ability to reach so many dimensions of jazz, allowing it to truly be "great black music."
1972 - Koch Records.
Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman - Reeds; Lester Bowie - Trumpet; Malachi Favors - Bass; Don Moye - Drums.

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