Down Beat magazine published a review of a John Coltrane performance referring to the music as “anarchistic” and as “a horrifying demonstration of what appears to be a growing anti-jazz trend.” This review documented one of the most controversial moments in the history of jazz: the advent of Free Jazz or “The New Thing.” IHP and ANW’s fifth concert series, Anti-Jazz: The New Thing Revisited, celebrates the 50-year trajectory of Free Jazz. The series, while bearing in mind landmark contributions such as Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz and John Coltrane’s Ascension, is a glimpse at the current state of the phenomenal Free Jazz continuum featuring many of the founding visionaries and iconoclasts – including the Sun Ra Arkestra, Bill Dixon, Bobby Bradford and the Art Ensemble of Chicago – along with an emerging generation of distinguished instrumentalists. Founded in 1969, the Art Ensemble of Chicago is the flagship ensemble of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and one of the most influential collectives in jazz history. Originally comprised of saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, trumpeter Lester Bowie, bassist Malachi Favors, and later, drummer Famoudou Don Moye, the Art Ensemble of Chicago are pioneers of multi-instrumentalism and, for over 40 years, have given unforgettable performances in which music, ritual and Dadaist theatre are interwoven. Their performances combine elements of jazz’s history and pre-history – music from the sanctified church services, minstrel shows and bawdy houses of late 19th and early 20th century America – with a modernist spirit of experimentation.
ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO
with Roscoe Mitchell, reeds; Hugh Ragin, trumpet; William Parker,
double-bass; and Famoudou Don Moye, drums + percussion
Saturday, March 6, 8pm
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street