Monday, May 22, 2017

Roscoe Mitchell - Bells for the South Side (2 CD) ECM 2017

Roscoe Mitchell contrasts and for the first time - combines the sounds and distinctive characters of his four trios in an exhilarating double album recorded at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Multi-instrumentalist and composer Mitchell had been invited to premiere new music at the museum, in the context of the exhibition The Freedom Principle, which celebrated the directions in music and art set in motion by the AACM on Chicago's South Side.

He offers what amounts to a composer self-portrait in continually changing colors and textures, reflecting on his own history while looking toward the future. Two pieces including the title composition draw upon the full percussion instrumentarium of the Art Ensemble of Chicago a panorama of gongs, bells, rattles, sirens, hand drums and more. Along the way there are remarkable contributions by all participants, among them a lyrical bass guitar feature for Jaribu Shahid on EP 7849, a heart-dilating solo by Tani Tabbal on Cards for Drums, an extended trumpet feature for Hugh Ragin on the title track, evocative and atmospheric electronics from Craig Taborn and James Fei on Red Moon in the Sky, and plenty of Mitchell's powerhouse saxophones throughout, from the piercing sopranino down to the mighty bass sax. The performance is concluded with Odwalla, the Mitchell-composed theme song of the Art Ensemble.

CD 1
1. Spatial Aspects Of The Sound  12:14
2. Panoply  7:37
3. Prelude To A Rose  12:45
4. Dancing In The Canyon  10:24
5. EP 7849  8:14
6. Bells For The South Side  12:36

CD 2
1. Prelude To The Card Game Cards For Drums And The Final Hand  16:03
2. The Last Chord  12:27
3. Six Gongs And Two Woodblocks  7:50
4. R509A Twenty B  1:34
5. Red Moon In The Sky / Odwalla  25:49

Roscoe Mitchell sopranino, soprano, alto and bass saxophones, flute, piccolo, bass recorder, percussion
James Fei sopranino and alto saxophones, contra-alto clarinet, electronics
Hugh Ragin trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Tyshawn Sorey trombone, piano, drums, percussion
Craig Taborn piano, organ, electronics
Jaribu Shahid double bass, bass guitar, percussion
Tani Tabbal drums, percussion
Kikanju Baku drums, percussion
William Winant percussion, tubular bells, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, roto toms, cymbals, bass drum, woodblocks, timpani