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Mitchell, Roscoe: Congliptious (NESSA)

Mitchell's 1968 Nessa landmark recording of modern jazz with Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors and Robert Crowder, reissued with 4 additional tracks.

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product information:

UPC: 827020000229

Label: NESSA
Catalog ID: 2
Squidco Product Code: 11853

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Tracks 1-3 recorded March 4, 1968 at Ter-Mar (Chess) Studios by Stu Black and Ron Malo. Tracks 4-8 recorded March 11, 1968 at Ter-Mar Studios by Stu Black. Tracks 4, 5, 7 & 8 not included in the original issue, and first appeared in the Art Ensemble 1967/68 box set. Originally released in 1968 on Nessa Records


Roscoe Mitchell-flute, recorder, alto sax, bass sax, soprano sax, tenor sax, toy instruments Lester Bowie-trumpet, bass drums, flugelhorn, horn, toy instruments

Robert Crowder-drums

Malachi Favors-bass, electric bass, toy instruments

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track listing:

1. Tutankhamen 6:41

2. TKHKE 7:36

3. Jazz Death? 7:23

4. Carefree-take 3 2:39

5. Tatas-Matoes 2:20

6. Congliptious/Old 19:38

7. Carefree-Take 1 3:09

8. Carefree-Take 2 3:06
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Art Ensemble of Chicago
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Jazz Reissues
Trio Recordings
Instant Rewards

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Congliptious is a landmark recording of modern jazz, an extraordinarily strong and creative album and one that, among other things, perfectly encapsulates the ideals of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians). One of the graduation requirements of students in the AACM was to be able to pull off a solo recital on whatever their instrument happened to be. In the late '60s, the idea of an evening-length solo performance on saxophone or drums, for example, was unheard of.

The first three cuts on Congliptious are solos for bass, alto saxophone, and trumpet that not only stand on their own as powerful statements, but also mark out several of the conceptual territories near and dear to this organization's heart. In "Tutankhamen," bassist Malachi Favors pays homage to the deep past, his rich arco delving into a theme older than the blues, but always keeping the blues in mind. Roscoe Mitchell's "Tkhke" remains, more than three decades later, incredibly alive and corrosive, reaching the furthest limits of his instrument, harrowing yet tightly controlled. Only when it resolves into a placid near lullaby does the listener dare exhale.

Humor was another constant element in the work of these Chicagoans, rarely better expressed than by the late Lester Bowie in his historic soliloquy, "Jazz Death?" Posing as both unctuous interviewer and sly interviewee, Bowie wends his way through virtually the entire history of jazz trumpet with affection, soulful beauty, and a sardonic glance or two. The side-long "Congliptious/Old" is a masterpiece in breadth of conception and execution, an exemplar of the newly drawn lines distinguishing chaos from order. The trio is joined by drummer Robert Crowder, who leads things off in march tempo before dissembling into a maelstrom of percussion and the "little instruments" beloved by these musicians. The piece ebbs and flows, traveling from thunderous explosions to childlike songs to abstract vocal exhortations (including the timely phrase, "Sock it to me!"), but always retaining a sense of the blues. T

hat aura comes into sublime fruition in the closing section, "Old," where Mitchell has written a theme as timeless as its title, an utterly gorgeous tune with roots in New Orleans dirges and beyond, which the quartet takes out with gusto, aplomb, and -- again -- a devilish humor. [...] one of the single most vital recordings of the jazz avant-garde, and an album of unique beauty."-Brian Olewnick, All Music

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