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Pathe Sessions, The [European Import]

Art Ensemble Of Chicago Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Oct 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music UK
  • ASIN: B000065BS0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,237 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Thème de Yoyo 9:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Thème De Céline 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Variations Sur Un Theme De Monteverdi (I, II, III) 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Thème De L'amour Universel 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Proverbes (I, II, III) 3:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Thème Libre 8:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. People in sorrow (part I)17:07Album Only
Listen  8. People in sorrow (part II)23:07Album Only


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ensemble On Form 19 Feb 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A fine ‘twofer’ from the early Parisian days of the Ensemble, it combines one of their most accessible records – Les Stances a Sophie, with one of their more challenging and brilliant efforts – People in Sorrow. Les Stances was written as a film soundtrack and is enhanced on its longest track by the blues vocalist Fontella Bass. People in Sorrow, consisting of just two long tracks, is a typical Ensemble mixture of percussion and free form blowing. It succeeds beautifully in evoking what the title suggests. This record is brilliant value – highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great AEof C -in Paris.but not 5 stars.. 31 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
the other two reviews are variously very good in conveying the joy that is listening again to arguably the most underrated group in modern jazz - the Art Ensemble of Chicago, here taken from Paris sessions in 1969 + 70.

firstly the positive - the first 6 tracks are variously funky, free, fun, wild, instrospective, afro-experimental as the AEofC play a dazzling range of adventurous post-bop free-ish, afrocentric/avant jazz. that's quite a wide category i know,but with messrs Bowie,Roscoe,Mitchell et al - it just about fits. such was their breadth of vision + exploratory playing.

the first track alone the now posthumous "hit" on youtube + in more discerning bars,is the fantastic groove laden track "theme de yoyo" with the sadly just passed away singer Fontella Bass. this track lays down a groove that James Brown,Bootsy etc would be proud of with soulful ms.Bass make this track alone - a certifiable essential piece of jazz/soul crossover monster. that good yes.

tracks 2-6 are variously - as described in the first paragraph - a tour de force of the finest elements of later AEofC releases such as the ECM era "full force" etc : adventurous,fun,swing/free-ish nuggets of post-bop jazz. marvellous.

the negative for me is the final 40 minutes taken up by the decidely rambling ,almost zen like minimal avant-gardish "people in sorrow" that really doesnt go anywhere. the track from "magg zelma" from the 1984 lp "full force" is a similar, yet a more focused version .

sound quality is first rate, booklet notes are informative + for less than £8 to you door - well worth your money. for the adventurous out there wishing to go beyond Duke,Mingus,Marsalis. genius - but flawed genius all the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two classics from Americans abroad 6 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This single-disc releases brings together two classic late-Sixties recordings (Les Stances à Sophie and People in Sorrow) by the Art Ensemble from the period of furious creativity when they were resident in Paris. There's everything here, from free-form wig-out fusion to baroque counterpoint.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've Been Waiting 20 Years for This Stuff! 5 Sep 2003
By Christopher Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Run...run...run!!! Get the CD at all costs. It contains some of the best work of the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago, including the classic and rarely available People in Sorrow, perhaps one of the most moving and profound improvisatory works of all time. I've been waiting for this to appear on CD for almost 20 years and finally, my prayers have been answered.
The Art Ensemble of Chicago got its start, as so many great Chicago groups did, in Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band of the mid 60s. First begun as Roscoe Mitchell's Art Ensemble, the group coalesced around a core of Chicagoans...Mitchell, Joseph Jarman and Malachi Favors; along with St. Louis transplant Lester Bowie. In the late 60s, sick of scrounging for gigs, the group as a whole emigrated to Paris. There they cut a couple of albums with Phillip Wilson as drummer, though the match was not perfect. Later they hooked up with Don Moye and the classic group was formed. The AEC was original; mixing free blowing over funky grooves, strange ritualistic percussion jams, and all out free improv, always dominated by an interest in composition and underlying structure. The two albums that make up this reissue are among the best that the group ever recorded.
The first six cuts on this reissue were originally released as the album Les Stances a Sophie and mark the first appearance of Don Moye on an AEC recording. Several cuts also feature Lester Bowie's then wife, Fontella Bass, an accomplished blues and gospel singer. Theme de Yoyo is a funky 60's number that, except for the freewheeling solos and the lack of piano or guitar, could have been recorded by Lee Morgan or Cannonball Adderly. The groove is infectiously propelled by Malachi Favors funky upright work. Theme de Celine is a neo-bop piece with more freewheeling solos by the horn men. The third cut is a lovely set of variations on the haunting Montiverdi ritornello to the Lament di Arianna. In lesser hands it could sound pretentious, but the AEC subsumes the work into it's own style and makes it a haunting ritual. The Theme du Universal Love again features Bass on a modal drone ballad. Proverbes is a ritual piece, complete with the AEC's signature "little instruments" orchestrations.... all of the horn players play small percussion, including African drums, shakers, car horns, and even mallet percussion. Theme Libre is the most radical departure on the recording, a freely improvised blowout, dominated by percussion and by Jarman and Mitchell's incredible sax work.
But the real reason to get this CD is for the last two cuts. Recorded just a bit before Les Stances, these two cuts represent both sides of the classic AEC album People in Sorrow. The work begins with quiet rustlings on the "little instruments" which gradually begin to suggest the hints of a melody. This haunting melody will recur throughout the work, but always just under the surface of things, just slightly out of reach...you never realize you've heard the melody until you reach the distinctive last phrase. In between statements, and over statements and around the statements of this melody, members of the group improvise, led by Lester Bowie. His trumpet playing is the signature of this album, rich, dark and haunting. Bowie was known for his freewheeling sense of humor and almost Ellingtonian set of effects, but such is the commitment in this album that Bowie delivers his long solos completely straight, without resorting to a single joke. Jarman and Mitchell also offer searing solos on their horns, including a brilliant bassoon solo by Jarman and some wonderful soprano sax work by Mitchell. As the piece continues, the mood becomes more and more intense and spooky. (The passage where you can barely hear on of the members of the group crying as if he were a child, "mommie, there's a rat scratchin' in the walls" is devastating...capturing as it does the horror of growing up poor and in a tenement.) Finally, about two thirds of the way through the second track, a siren is sounded, over which the group finally states the theme of the work in full and then engages in the fiercest collective improvisation imaginable. After this intense free jazz freak out, the theme is stated once again in full, the siren is turned off and the work recedes again into the stillness from which it came. It is one of the most powerful examples of jazz improvisation ever.
If you are a fan of the AEC, this recording is a must. Les Stances has been available intermittently on CD, mostly in imports. But to my knowledge this is the first available recording of People in Sorrow, a situation that I am very glad has been remedied. This is the strongest work of the AEC's early career, and indeed, it may be the strongest work that they ever did. Be prepared to be moved, amazed, and disturbed. This work is one that will stay with you for a long, long time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth having - 2 classic records 30 Mar 2013
By Daniel Kurdilla - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I hesitated to buy this, due to a scathing review on this site claiming that the sound quality was horribly bad. But I decided to take a chance and I'm glad I did. The sound quality certainly isn't perfect but I found it to be quite acceptable. There was never a point where I was distracted from the music by the sound quality.
This music is certainly essential listening for fans of the AEC and the like. Based on what I've heard, these are probably the best records from their early years -- far better than the erratic sessions for BYG.
Included are 'People in Sorrow' from 1969 by the quartet of Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, and Malachi Favors, and 'Les Stances a Sophie' from 1970, with Don Moye added on drums and a couple of guest appearances by singer Fontella Bass (who was Bowie's wife at the time).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music is fantastic, but... 7 Aug 2012
By C. Nessa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
At least some of the music is dubbed from vinyl. Shoddy production from a "major" label. It could have been so much better.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THANK YOU LESTER! 28 Sep 2003
By R. W. Born - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I believe these were mastered down from vinyl.Still rates 5 stars for oiling the gears of the universe.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cautionary Tale... 2 Aug 2012
By Duane Spani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For anyone at all knowledgeable about the AEC it goes without saying that 'People In Sorrow' and 'Les Stances A Sophie' are among the very finest recordings the group ever made (hence the 5 stars). For whatever reason 'Les Stances' has always been relatively easy to obtain; be it on the original NESSA LP or reissues such as the excellent edition on LP and CD from Universal Sound (supposedly legit, but who knows?) that came out when the world ended on Y2K. 'People In Sorrow', however, has been a bit more difficult to come by-- with the best sound coming from the NESSA LP editions.

As far as I know, this is the first time they have been issued together-- a pairing that makes perfect sense-- and the first time 'People In Sorrow' has had any digital release. I have an LP bias, but I admit to being excited to hear the very quiet 'People In Sorrow' recording sans the surface noise-- although I do have an extremely clean vinyl copy. Thus, I made the mistake of buying this travesty, this train-wreck, this...piece of crap. I nearly returned this to the store after the first listen, but I decided it SHOULD BE DESTROYED instead, so that no one else would be cheated and forced to endure a single hearing of this trash.

I AM NOT AN AUDIOPHILE! That's not what my utter distaste stems from. This HORRIBLE issue simply sounds AWFUL, DREADFUL, HORRIFYINGLY GROTESQUE-- so awful, in fact, that it actually HURT MY EARS! As a last perversion, it's really 'People In Sorrow'-- the recording unavailable as a CD and expensive and hard to find as a mint condition LP, that suffers the most here....natch. It IS transferred from a vinyl copy-- I understand the master tapes are long gone-- but that's not the problem. Truly excellent sounding CDs are created from vinyl editions every day, but that is NOT what happened here: this sounds like it was from a crap LP with the CD copy created using one of those little close-and-play LP to CD machines you can get for $50.

That is my sad and scary cautionary tale. If your ears are not made of tin you WILL NOT be able to tolerate this (and remember, I'm NOT talking audiophile level stuff here-- I'm talking high pitched, dog whistle type sounds scraping away throughout and other catastrophes). If you don't have tin ears AND you have a conscience, you will be forced, like I was, to destroy this CD after one listen--a selfless act to allow others to escape such torture.

IF you buy it, you will hate it. You will hate it so much you will gleefully destroy it (although you are mainly being selfless, of course). FINALLY, if you buy this travesty you will also be encouraging the boneheaded idiots (or lazy cheats) who put this piece of crap out.

Don't buy it...
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