An Introduction to Art Ensemble of Chicago Playlist

Source: Le Guess Who.

It was exciting in 1969, with its authoritative name, when it was challenging expectations in Paris, where audiences surely had expectations about a black avant-garde band that this particular one from Chicago couldn’t or wouldn’t be. It was exciting in the mid-80s (have you revisited Ancient to the Future, synthesizers and all?) and in the late 1990s when Lester Bowie was winding down his time on earth, and in 2004 when the group seemed to retrieve its energy. It is again exciting now in a current five-piece lineup including the cellist Tomeka Reid, its newest member, as well as Mitchell and Don Moye, its oldest members.