As the legendary Art Ensemble Of Chicago celebrates its 50th anniversary, Soul Jazz Records release a new, fully re-mastered edition of the group’s seminal 1970 album Les Stances à Sophie.
Les Stances à Sophie features the great singer Fontella Bass on the opening track Theme de Yoyo, a stunning 9-min opus that continues to startle and compel new audiences today. Drawing upon the mutual soul and funk background of Bass and her then husband Lester Bowie with all the power of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago’s collective musicianship on board, Theme de Yoyo is powerfully funky, soulful and free at the same time, a classic fusion of black music styles. The Art Ensemble explored many areas of popular black music during their career. For instance, their ‘Ancient to the Future: Tribute to the Masters’ album covered songs by artists such as James Brown, Fela Kuti and Jimi Hendrix. This however, remains a pinnacle moment in their exploration of black dance music. Les Stances à Sophie was recorded in Paris in 1970 and features regular Art Ensemble members (Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Flavors) alongside newly recruited drummer Don Moye and guest Fontella Bass on vocals and piano. Les Stances á Sophie was originally released on EMI France in 1970 and later in the US on Nessa Records. Soul Jazz Records first released the album in 2000. Now ten years out of print, they are releasing it once more in this new fully re-mastered edition. The Art Ensemble Of Chicago’s musical soundtrack remains perhaps the definitive release from this period, a stunning exploration of radical jazz music and, with with the rare addition of vocalist Fontella Bass on Theme De Yoyo, an unashamedly powerful celebration of Great Black Music.
LP - Standard Black Vinyl.
CD - Standard CD.