Alone among the first eight albums of the ECM Rarum series, the Art Ensemble of Chicago edition is a group effort, with surviving members Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors, and Don Moye offering only a brief greeting in the booklet. There were only four Art Ensemble of Chicago albums over only a half-dozen years (1978-1984), so listeners get two tracks from the initial offering, "Nice Guys" and "Full Force," and one apiece from Urban Bushmen and The Third Decade.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Out of hundreds of jazz CD's I own or have heard, this will always rank in my top ten. Recorded in 1981 with the awesome lineup of - Art Blakey (drums), Charles Fambrough (bass), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Bill Pierce (tenor sax), Bobby Watson (alto sax), and James Williams (piano). A little over 42 minutes long, this disc is as perfect as it gets and there is absolutely no filler! It's incredible to hear Blakey play… he is so good that he keeps a perfect rhythm going but then inserts offbeat syncopated and ghost beats on top of it. His style of playing always amazes me. Of course the rest of the band kick serious tail also and never miss a beat. Great tunes, outstanding arrangements, awesome solos, what else is there?
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A beautiful big band set from the great Art Blakey – but one that's got all the sharp focus of his small group sides by the Jazz Messengers! The lineup here is a great one – that very vibrant early 80s version of Blakey's group with Bobby Watson on alto sax, Bill Pierce on tenor, and James Williams on piano – augmented by Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Valerie Ponomarev on trumpet, and the Marsalis brothers rounding out the set with some extra horn work! The sound is strong and proud, and handled by Blakey with a tightness that's similar to his smaller group work of the time – but with a power that's simply incredible – especially when Watson's presence is made known on his tunes "Wheel Within A Wheel", "Linwood", and "Bit A Bittadose". Also features a take on Williams' "Minor Thesis".