USA, 1970, avant-garde jazz / film soundtrack

Art Ensemble of ChicagoLes stances à Sophie: As usual with releases like this, the goldmine is in the liner notes. Thank God for reissues! This music is only loosely jazz, for it draws on a wide range of influences beyond jazz, from the indigenous music in African traditions to Monteverdi, thus putting it more in the realm of an album where the musicians were told, “Hey, can you make a soundtrack for a film that doesn’t exist yet?” And that’s just what these expatriate black American musicians did. During those three or four magical years the Chicagoan and his American compatriots enjoyed Paris (and France enjoyed them!), these visionary musicians spread their wings and explored not only what it means to make music but what it means to be black.

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