by Roscoe Mitchell SextetRoscoe Mitchell Sextet


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Sound, Roscoe Mitchell's debut as a leader, was an early free jazz landmark and an enormously groundbreaking album in many respects. Historically, it marked the very first time that members of Chicago's seminal AACM community appeared on record; it also showcased the early chemistry between future Art Ensemble of Chicago members Mitchell, Lester Bowie, and Malachi Favors. Arrangement-wise, it employed a number of instruments largely foreign to avant-garde jazz -- not just cello and clarinet, but the AEC's notorious "little instruments," like recorder, whistle, harmonica, and assorted small percussion devices (gourds, maracas, bells, etc.), heard to best effect on the playful "Little Suite." Structurally, Sound heralded a whole new approach to free improvisation; where most previous free jazz prized an unrelenting fever pitch of emotion, Sound was full of wide-open spaces between instruments, an agreeably rambling pace in between the high-energy climaxes, and a more abstract quality to its solos. Steady rhythmic pulses were mostly discarded in favor of collective, spontaneous dialogues and novel textures (especially with the less orthodox instruments, which had tremendous potential for flat-out weird noises). Simply put, it's an exploration of pure sound. It didn't so much break the rules as ignore them and make up its own, allowing the musicians' imaginations to run wild (which is why it still sounds fresh today). Sound's concepts of texture, space, and interaction would shortly be expanded upon in classic recordings by Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and others; the repercussions from its expansion of free jazz's tonal and emotional palettes are still being felt.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/2018
Label: Delmark
UPC: 0038153440824
catalogNumber: 4408
Rank: 74691

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet   Primary Artist
Lester Bowie   Harmonica,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Group Member
Roscoe Mitchell   Clarinet,Recorder,Alto Saxophone,Group Member
Malachi Favors   Bass,Group Member
Alvin Fielder   Percussion,Group Member
Lester Lashley   Trombone,Cello,Group Member
Maurice McIntyre   Tenor Saxophone,Group Member

Technical Credits

Robert G. Koester   Original Album Producer
J.B. Figi   Liner Notes
Bill Abernathy   Cover Photo
Elbio Barilari   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Julia a. Miller   Reissue Producer
Ed Bard   Reissue Design,Original Cover Artwork

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