Muddy Waters, Saul Bellow, Steppenwolf Theater Company (John Malkovich, John Mahoney, Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, et al.), Curtis Mayfield: a lot of great artists, musical and otherwise, have come out of Chicago in the last 50 years. Among the greatest is this group: the Art Ensemble of Chicago. While the horn players (Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie) got the lion’s share of the attention, what gave their music its juice—what made it dance—was (as you’ll hear) one of the finest rhythm sections ever: Malachi Favors, bass; Don Moye, drums.
Art Ensemble of Chicago, live, Poland (Warsaw), 1982 (in four parts)
Part 1 of 4
Part 2 of 4
Part 3 of 4
Part 4 of 4
(I talk about the AEC in the past tense because, while recordings are still released under this name from time to time, with two key members [they were all “key members”] now dead—trumpeter Lester Bowie  and bassist Malachi Favors —it just isn’t [nor could it be] the same.)
Many things in life don’t quite seem, alas, to live up to their billing. It appears that the RSS (Real Simple Syndication) service that’s referenced in the righthand column (under “Subscribe”) may fall into this category—at least, that is, for those of us who are (as the expression goes) of a certain age. The problem seems to lie at the threshold: “real simple.”
Anyway, in the life’s-too-short, keep-it-simple-stupid department, if you’d like to “subscribe” to this blog, just send me an email (email@example.com) with “subscribe” in the subject line and—voila!—you’ll be added to an ever-growing email list that will have you receiving an e-notice whenever there’s a new blog post. As indicated in the “About” section (see righthand column), this whole thing started from a very small (like, oh, two, sometimes three, folks) email list, which then grew, then grew some more. One of many miraculous things about electronic communication is that there’s always room for one more.