Wednesday

Art Ensemble of Chicago

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.

8 comments:

Curved Air said...

most excellent share JR!!! thx

steve said...

you rock steady

Wayno said...

My favorite AEoC album! I've had on vinyl for years and the first track always blows everyone away!
Thank you!

JBL said...

Oh snap JR! I've been hoping to run across this for a while now. Will listen and report back.
Many thanks as always

Willard said...

Fantastic. Those raw drums are to die for. Still diggin' those Miles-era Herbies, too.
W

JBL said...

Wow, from what I've heard so far this is a very different sound for the AEC than that I'm accustomed to. Fontella was a teriffic addition to the group. Good to see that she's still out there, and still has her pipes, as evidenced by her collab with these pasty british knob-twiddlers:

http://www.ninjatune.net/videos/video.php?type=qt&id=37

The song's not much, but good for her regardless.
Any of you all have any other AEC faves? Just about everything I've heard from them I've liked, though it's probably like a 5th of their catalog...

sonolor said...

I only know fantastic title "Yoyo" and I love it. Could you please put it again ?

JR HeatWarp said...

Hey Solonor,

Yoyo is indeed the standout track here, but the rest of the LP is pretty incredible as well. The link is still active, so give it another shot. Enjoy!