Chicago drummer Mike Reed and AACM legendary saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell reunite for two masterful extended improv pieces, recorded live at Constellation in Chicago in 2013.
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Label: 482 Music
Catalog ID: 4821088cd
Squidco Product Code: 19437
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Constellation, in Chicago, Illinois, on April 19, 2013 by Todd Carter.
Mike Reed-drums, percussion
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1. Constellations Over Denmark 21:03
2. Light Can Bend 25:26
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
sample the album:
"A meeting of an avant-guard legend and a few decades younger disciple, one of the most active animators of the modern jazz scene in Chicago- ain't that a definitive prove of art's continuity? Roscoe Mitchell and Mike Reed, that duo not so long ago mesmerized the audience, my fortunate self included, during the Made in Chicago festival in Poznan. Together, they created a world of sculpted sounds, in constant "pursuit of magic", a successful pursuit I'd like to add as I believe the concert to be THE concert of 2013.
There's linear cohesiveness to Mitchell's playing and uniqueness to his sound - carefully crafted, intrinsically structural, in constant movement and in continuos evolvement. He creates myriad of notes, with just slight modifications rephrases the line, analyzes its every possible form and angle. A sort of musical laboratory, with attention to every possibile detail. Not experimental - because that would mean the result is left to chance. Instead it's strictly methodical, showing a profound knowledge of the instrument and it's many possibilites. His playing, ever enigmatic, is surreal and pure in its abstract logic.
Mitchell's playing might seem overwhelming, overabundant in abstract ideas. It's Reed's drumming to provide a more real, "down to earth", emotional backbone - his drums seem to have life on it's own - colorful, vivid, pulsating. His playing surrounds the saxophones with a living and breathing, polyrhythmic environment. Of particular beauty is his melodic use of the metal tongue drum, with the touch mic attached to it, the instrument develops an electro-acoustic transcendental sound.
The CD features two long improvisations "Constellations Over Denmark" and "Light Can Bend" both recorded on the concert in April 2013 at Constellation in Chicago. "Constellations" moves from the hypnotic research of hushed sounds, breathing and resonance (the particular drums frequency mimics the wind's shriek) to a full-tempo galopade with the tenor twisting the musical line, followed closely by a fast pace drums pulse.
"Light Can Bend" begins with a the lyrical, and soulful tenor tone, gently weaving the spare melody, encircled by light percussion thrill. Around 10 minutes into the piece, the playing becomes more intense, the interval jumps more sudden, the sounds sharper. And so they go fearless into the labyrinth, with Mitchell's tenor and Reed's drumming circling around each other in a continuos spiral flow for a long while. Quite frankly a bit of a hypnotic mind-blow. Mitchell's solo coda and melodic closure brings us back to the reality.
The pursuit of Magic never stops as the magic lives only in the moment, in the act itself. Fortunately such act can be recorded, and (the echo of) the experience re-lived. The recording catches two masterful magicians in the act, so don't try to learn the trick, just follow them as they show you the amazing new worlds and all its wonders. A definitive recommendation."-Jazz Alchemist
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• Show Bio for Roscoe Mitchell
"Roscoe Mitchell (born August 3, 1940) is an American composer, jazz instrumentalist, and educator, known for being "a technically superb Ð if idiosyncratic Ð saxophonist." The Penguin Guide to Jazz described him as "one of the key figures" in avant-garde jazz; All About Jazz states that he has been "at the forefront of modern music" for the past 35 years. Critic Jon Pareles in The New York Times has mentioned that Mitchell "qualifies as an iconoclast." In addition to his own work as a bandleader, Mitchell is known for cofounding the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
Mitchell was born in Chicago, Illinois. He also grew up in the Chicago area, where he played saxophone and clarinet at around age twelve. His family was always involved in music with many different styles playing in the house when he was a child as well as having a secular music background. His brother, Norman, in particular was the one who introduced Mitchell to jazz. While attending Englewood High School in Chicago, he furthered his study of the clarinet. In the 1950s, he joined the United States Army, during which time he was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany and played in a band with fellow saxophonists Albert Ayler and Rubin Cooper, the latter of which Mitchell commented "took me under his wing and taught me a lot of stuff." He also studied under the first clarinetist of the Heidelberg Symphony while in Germany. Mitchell returned to the United States in the early 1960s, relocated to the Chicago area, and performed in a band with Wilson Junior College undergraduates Malachi Favors (bass), Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill, and Anthony Braxton (all saxophonists). Mitchell also studied with Muhal Richard Abrams and played in his band, the Muhal Richard Abrams' Experimental Band, starting in 1961.
In 1965, Mitchell was one of the first members of the non-profit organization Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) along with Jodie Christian (piano), Steve McCall (drums), and Phil Cohran (composer). The following year Mitchell, Lester Bowie (trumpet), Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre (tenor saxophone), Favors, Lester Lashley (trombone), and Alvin Fielder (drums), recorded their first studio album, Sound. The album was "a departure from the more extroverted work of the New York-based free jazz players" due in part to the band recording with "unorthodox devices" such as toys and bicycle horns.
From 1967 Mitchell, Bowie, Favors and, on occasion, Jarman performed as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble, then the Art Ensemble, and finally in 1969 were billed as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The group included Phillip Wilson on drums for short span before he joined Paul Butterfield's band. The group lived and performed in Europe from 1969 to 1971, though they arrived without any percussionist after Wilson left. To fill the void, Mitchell commented that they "evolved into doing percussion ourselves." The band did eventually get a percussionist, Don Moye, who Mitchell had played with before and was living in Europe at that time. For performances, the band often wore brilliant African costumes and painted their faces. The Art Ensemble of Chicago have been described as becoming "possibly the most highly acclaimed jazz band" in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mitchell and the others returned to the States in 1971. After having been back in Chicago for three years, Mitchell then established the Creative Arts Collective (CAC) in 1974 that had a similar musical aesthetic to the AACM. The group was based in East Lansing, Michigan and frequently performed in auditoriums at Michigan State University. Mitchell also formed the Sound Ensemble in the early 1970s, an "outgrowth of the CAC" in his words, that consisted mainly of Mitchell, Hugh Ragin, Jaribu Shahid, Tani Tabbal, and Spencer Barefield.
In the 1990s, Mitchell started to experiment in classical music with such composers/artists such as Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner, and Borah Bergman, the latter two of which formed a trio with Mitchell called Trio Space. Buckner was also part of another group with Mitchell and Gerald Oshita called Space in the late 1990s. He then conceived the Note Factory in 1992 with various old and new collaborators as another evolution of the Sound Ensemble.
He lived in the area of Madison, Wisconsin and performed with a re-assembled Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 1999, the band was hit hard with the death of Bowie, but Mitchell fought off the urge to recast his position in the group, stating simply "You can't do that" in an interview with Allaboutjazz.com editor-in-chief Fred Jung. The band continued on despite the loss.
Mitchell has made a point of working with younger musicians in various ensembles and combinations, many of whom were not yet born when the first Art Ensemble recordings were made. Mainly from Chicago, these players include trumpeter Corey Wilkes, bassist Karl E. H. Seigfried, and drummer Isaiah Spencer.
In 2007, Mitchell was named Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he currently lives. Mitchell was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in March 2012 in Minehead, England."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Mitchell)
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