Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lesterday Once More

Today would have been the 73rd birthday of Lester Bowie, one of my personal favorite chefs, so I am here to cook up a sweet and savory tribute to the erstwhile Art Ensemble of Chicago founder, who passed in 1999.
He really made the trumpet talk, that Lester Bowie. Very often, he'd be talking through the horn, literally. No one ever to play the instrument could make it come out with all these crazy sounds, without the benefit of electronic enhancement, like Lester could.
The lab coat/chef's jacket he wore onstage was symbolic of creation: that the chef, the alchemist of sound was whipping up a feast for the ears. I saw many AEC shows in the 1980s and 1990s that sent me home satisfied, as if I had eaten a seven-course meal. Lester was a big reason why.
To celebrate and commemorate I am going to share this fantastic master FM reel of a Brass Fantasy set from German radio back in 1986, from between the I Only Have Eyes for You and Avant Pop LPs on ECM. I dig his Brass Fantasy groups as much as the Art Ensemble, truth be told... Brass Fantasy had a tuba on bass, how can you go wrong with that?
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy
Bremen, Germany

01 The Great Pretender
02 Crazy
03 Think
04 Macho
05 I Only Have Eyes for You
06 Oh, What a Night
07 We Bop
08 Zero (Blueberry Hill)
09 Thriller
10 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

Total time: 1:17:46

Lester Bowie, Stanton Davis, Malachi Thompson, David Hines, Bruce Purse - trumpets
Frank Lacy - trombone
Vincent Chancey - French horn
Bob Stewart - tuba
Philip Wilson - drums

master FM reel recorded from a BR 2 / Z├╝ndfunk broadcast
The original share of this show had a track at the beginning that seemed to be from another, much more recent concert, so I left it off... the thing makes it on a single CD now. Anyway enjoy this one as you let the birthday boy Lester and his brass family embellish your weekend with a smattering smear or six.--J.