Thursday, January 15, 2015

Black Artists Group video from 1973 performance in France now online

Today, let's wish a very happy birthday to trumpeter and St. Louis native Baikida Carroll, who was born on this day in 1947.

Carroll (pictured) first gained wide attention in the late 1960s as a member of St. Louis' Black Artists Group, and after the group's  members went their separate ways a few years later, continued to perform and record with Oliver Lake and other associated musicians.

He's made four albums as a leader - one per decade in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s - and also has recorded as a supporting musician with many well-known jazz and creative music performers, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Jack DeJohnette, John Carter, David Murray, Carla Bley, Sam Rivers, and more. Carroll also has composed scores for a number of theatrical productions and films, including the PBS American Playhouse production of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf."

To help celebrate Carroll's birthday, we've got some rarely seen footage of the Black Artists Group performing in 1973 in France, which was posted online just last week and came to StLJN's attention via the Twitter feed of trombonist Joseph Bowie, brother of Lester Bowie and also a BAG veteran.

The two clips, which together are slightly more than 26 minutes long, are from the last of 21 episodes of a 1973 French TV program, Jazz Harmonie. They feature a latter-day lineup of BAG musicians including Carroll, Bowie on trombone and percussion, saxophonist Oliver Lake, guitarist Jimmy Jones, and drummer Donald Robinson, performing three selections: "Suite," "Rhythm," and "Harlem Color."

(This is, so far as StLJN can determine, the only live performance footage available online of any of the BAG lineups or events from around that time, and as such, should be considered a rarity. We hope you enjoy!)

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