Black Artists Group
IN PARIS, ARIES 1973 (LP)
12" Vinyl NL
Free Jazz Session recorded in 1973 in Paris!
It was Lester Bowie, trumpeter with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, who suggested that the Black Artists’ Group (BAG) should head for Paris. In 1972 several members of BAG took his advice and flew to France for an extended stay. The following year a concert featuring saxophonist Oliver Lake, trumpeters Baikida Carroll and Floyd LeFlore, drummer Charles Bobo Shaw and trombonist Joseph Bowie (Lester’s younger brother) was recorded and subsequently issued as In Paris, Aries 1973, a strictly limited edition LP on the group’s own label.
Since the formation of Black Artists’ Group in 1968, the home of this multidisciplinary arts collective had been St Louis, Missouri, the city where the Bowie brothers had grown up. It was there that Lester Bowie had started to investigate the expanding horizons of jazz before moving, in 1966, to Chicago where he joined the recently established Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). His close friend Oliver Lake visited Bowie, attended AACM concerts and meetings and was inspired not only by their artistic vision and integrity but also by their efficient organisation. In Chicago musicians were making things happen for themselves, taking control of their own destinies and giving shape to their lives as creative artists.
In June 1969, the Art Ensemble of Chicago had taken their music to France. During the preceding decade Paris had established a reputation for audiences that were unusually well-informed and open-minded, receptive to the uncompromising music of black American innovators such as Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and Sun Ra. The city that had nurtured not only Cubism and Surrealism, but also Jean-Luc Godard and contemporary cinema’s Nouvelle Vague was well prepared for the sonic collage forms and stylistic dislocations of the Art Ensemble. During that same month violinist Leroy Jenkins, trumpeter Leo Smith and saxophonist Anthony Braxton also arrived in Paris, three further emissaries from the AACM. [info from Label]