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October 20, 2011

"Nice Guys" - Art Ensemble of Chicago

Back in August I discovered a new record shop in Northeast Portland called Beacon Sound. It had a small, yet focused, Jazz vinyl selection with a good percentage of avant-garde discs that I would've gladly purchased. I restrained myself by limiting my purchase to one LP, Nice Guys by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Nothing too rare as it was a cut out, but the price was just right at $6.

I have owned a digital version of this album for some years now. It's not one the Art Ensemble's strongest works, but it sure exemplifies their compositional style and sheer force as they perform in the studio. Like most music on vinyl, I have been listening to it a lot more now. It must be something to do with putting a record on the turntable over and over again that feels right. Rather than using my Click Wheel to access it.

Nice Guys is the first album the AEOC cut for the ECM label, and also the first after a five year break from recording. Probably what is the most satisfying part of the record is the final track, 'Dreaming of the Master'. What is Joseph Jarman's high tribute to Miles Davis, the whole album seems like a culmination that ultimately feels like a spiritual breaking down during this closing tune.

In 1990 'Dreaming of the Master' was reintroduced in a new album entitled, Dreaming of the Masters Suite: Music Inspired by and Dedicated to John Coltrane. Released on the Japanese Label DIW, it's a mixture of Art Ensemble and Coltrane compositions.
1978 - ECM (1126)
Lester Bowie - trumpet, celeste, bass drum; Joseph Jarman - reeds, percussion, vocal; Roscoe Mitchell - reeds, percussion; Malachi Favors - Maghostus bass, percussion, melodica; Famoudou Don Moye - drums, percussion, vocal.


Yair Yona said...

Ooh, this sounds good.
I love these guys but didn't know this album, thanks for posting

OutNow Recordings

p.s. do you know their brilliant album with Brigitte Fontain?

Matthew DiTullo said...


I don't know that Album. Do you know any links for it?