Sunday, July 24, 2011

StLJN Audio Archive:
Black Artists Group: In Paris, Aries 1973

This week's Audio Archive post features a rare recording by St. Louis' Black Artists Group, courtesy of the blog Nothing Is, v 2.0.

In Paris, Aries 1973 was, as the title implies, recorded live in Paris in 1973 by a lineup including Joseph Bowie (trombone, conga, miscellaneous instruments), Baikida E.J. Carroll (trumpet, flugelhorn, bass, log drum, cowbells, miscellaneous instruments), Charles "Bobo" Shaw (drums, woodblocks, gong, miscellaneous instruments), Floyd LeFlore (trumpet, miscellaneous instruments, voice) and Oliver Lake (saxophones, flute, marimbas, mud drums, miscellaneous instruments).

The program includes four tracks: "Echos" (credited to Bowie, Lake, Shaw, Le Flore, Carroll), "Something To Play On" (Shaw), "Re-Cre-A-Tion" (Lake) and OLCSJBFLBC (Bowie, Lake, Shaw, Le Flore, Carroll). The album was a limited release, with only a few hundred copies pressed, and thus quite rare in its original form. Quoting now from the post at Nothing Is:
"A short review taken from "TOP TEN FROM THE FREE JAZZ UNDERGROUND" by Thurston Moore

The Black Artists Group was an unit not unlike that of The Art Ensemble of Chicago. Except they only recorded this one document and it only came out in France on a label named after the group. This is squeaky, spindly stuff and very OPEN and a good indication of what was happening in the early 70's with members Oliver Lake (later of the infamous World Saxophone Quartet) and Joseph Bowie (Art Ensemble's Lester Bowie's bro, later to start Defunkt).

If you like Art Ensemble of Chicago (circa the 1970s) and the Human Arts Ensemble, you'll like this recording. Needless to say, this music is hard as hell to come by.

See also: Poets of Action: The Saint Louis Black Artists' Group, 1968-1972 (Part 1-4) by Benjamin Looker to learn more about the group."
To download a copy of Black Artists Group: In Paris, Aries 1973, go here, look at the bottom of the post for the words "Download In Paris, Aries 1973," click on them, and follow the instructions from there.

The StLJN Audio Archive links only to recordings that are out-of-print or that never have been commercially available. The purpose of the Audio Archive is encourage discussion, appreciation and knowledge of St. Louis jazz artists, and we encourage you to support them (or their estates) by purchasing authorized recordings and merchandise or, whenever possible, attending live performances.


D.J. said...

This album was re-released (on vinyl only) in March 2011 by Rank & File Records of Berlin.

Dean Minderman said...

Thanks for the info, D.J.

Alas, a visit to the label's website shows that the re-release already has sold out. And since that means the album is once again out of print, I'm leaving the link intact for now, unless/until Rank & File decides to make it available again.