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Les Stances A Sophie Art Ensemble of Chicago Nessa N-4, 1970
Les Stances A Sophie album cover

This quite extraordinary cosmic jazz score was recorded in France by Lester Bowie and Art Ensemble of Chicago in July 1970. The album features vocals by the excellent singer Fontella Bass, who also plays piano. As you might expect from the name of the group, this is advanced (and for the most part, very experimental and free) jazz, so won't appeal to all. The sheer power and audacity of the music stills holds the listener spellbound during many of the tracks, the best of which is the stunning 'Theme de Yoyo'. Very hard to find on original vinyl, this album has since been reissued and the best track was also showcased on a Universal Sounds compilation a few years back. Don't miss it if you're open-minded and like a leftfield approach to your music.

Overall Rating: 4

Track listing:

Theme de Yoyo | Theme de Celine | Variations sur un Theme de Monteverdi I | Variations sur un Theme de Monteverdi II | Proverbes I | Theme Amour Universel | Theme Libre | Proverbes II |

 

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