Chicago’s Black Musical Visionaries

Source: Chicago Reader.

Since the 1950s, Chicago has hosted a succession of visionary Black musical groups and societies. They’re best known as purveyors of avant-garde jazz, but that characterization sells short Sun Ra and his Arkestra, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and Phil Cohran’s Artistic Heritage Ensemble. Each was—and in some cases still is—a community-building artistic endeavor informed by esoteric philosophies, practical priorities, and a redemptive sense of mission.