HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

17 July 2009

Art Ensemble of Chicago - 'Live at Mandel Hall' (Delmark)

Hey everyone, the kids have come home! Back in the town where they belong, and on the label where they probably belong too. And just look what they've learned from their lengthy Euro residency! This is the 8th consecutive Art Ensemble album I've listened to in a row, and the second double live album, but it still sounds fresh. I feel my love of All Things AACM growing with every recorded moment. See, this is the first AEoC I ever heard, tho on the CD format (which I believe concatenated this one long performance together as one 75-minute track). On vinyl things can open up and breathe a bit, though there are some awkward pauses in the middle of the jams, when you have to change records in the middle of a squaking horn freakout. But it's all here, pretty much. Almost every trick and idea we've heard in the Paris recordings comes back at some point in this long improvised melee. The weird hulking vocals are there, some hypnotic traditional African percussion, and some proper jazz as well. It's all so dense, yet it feels light as air. By the time the record is over, it's like it never even happened. And even a slight warpage on the outer regions of plate #2 can't stop me from being totally amazed at music this 'of the moment' - music that has evacuated my brain already and making me struggle to describe it, just minutes after it's been experienced. So I'm going to cop out on this one, figuring I deserve it by now.

No comments:

Post a Comment