Les Stances a Sophie - 1970
Recorded as a soundtrack to a film of the same name, but for one reason or another, never actually used in the film, Les Stances a Sophie marked the crest of jazz fusion's first wave. As expatriates living in Paris, AEoC ingeniously paired with the vocal talents of trumpeter Lester Bowie's then-wife Fontella Bass, who had scored a massive hit of her own in "Rescue Me" four years earlier. The result is a genre-defying LP that seamlessly bridges their brand of avant-jazz and loose funk with heavy American soul. All of the tracks here are incredible, but the lead off "Theme de Yoyo" is a hands-down knockout -- tight, tough and all the while subtly feminine, it's easily one of the best under the radar tracks of the early 70s. There's no excuse to pass up this LP, ever.