Album Review

Art Ensemble of Chicago – “Sirius Calling ” – [Pi Recordings]

Rococo   7/5/2005   CD, Jazz

Following the deaths of founding members Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors, the future of the Art Ensemble may be open to question. But there’s certainly no question that SIRIUS CALLING is a strong release from a venerable band. Recorded before Favors’ death in January 2004, this album features shorter tracks than the Ensemble is typically noted for, and in so doing, may be a good entry point for new listeners. Instrumentally, it’s just as eclectic as ever, with a variety of percussion instruments, flutes, recorders, bells, whistles, and what-not. It all sounds about as comfortable and effortless as free jazz can get, with all four players contributing in equal measure.

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