Art Ensemble of Chicago: Jazz Cafe, London

Challenging, audacious and undimmed by the loss of Malachi Favours and Lester Bowie, the remaining members of the ensemble and their new cohorts mixed free sounds with an often gentle coolness on stage tonight.

Much of the most beautiful music of the past hundred years has come from practitioners of ‘difficult’ music. Like the process of evolution itself, it is this random element that allows beautiful things to come into being. Few have been doing it so long as the Art Ensemble of Chicago and few can do it so well.
It may have been a Thursday night and not everyone in the audience lasted the course, but those who did were witness to the fascinating interplay between the old stalwarts and the young bloods. It goes without saying that everyone plays a handful (literally) of instruments and sometimes more than one at a time. Two trumpets played simultanously for example is quite a feat!
So when they are next in town, free your mind and open your ears!

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