The legendary Roscoe Mitchell returns to Oto following two incredible nights here last March. One of the key members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Mitchell is one of the leading figures in American creative music to emerge from the explosive musical revolutions of the 1960s. His early work, including albums such as Sound, radically expanded the language of free jazz to include new instrumentation and compositional strategies and he's carried on enlarging our musical horizons ever since, working with a staggering variety of ensembles as well as honing one of the most distinctive and powerful solo saxophone voices. For this concert he'll be joined by the incredible bass player John Edwards and Tani Tabbal - a drummer who has worked with everyone from the Sun Ra Arkestra to Anthony Braxton and switches easily between odd and mixed meteres, combining world rhythms and a passion for pushing jazz to the outer realms of the avant-garde. The combined experience, imagination and sheer verve of this trio promises to take the music in several new directions simultaneously. Not a night to stay at home
Roscoe Mitchell & John Edwards photo by Scott McMillan
ROSCOE MITCHELL / saxophones, flute
One of the top saxophonists to come out of Chicago's AACM movement of the mid-'60s, Roscoe Mitchell is a particularly strong and consistently adventurous improviser long associated with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. After getting out of the military, Mitchell led a hard bop sextet in Chicago (1961) which gradually became much freer.
He was a member of Muhal Richard Abrams's Experimental Band and a founding member of the AACM in 1965. Mitchell's monumental Sound album (1966) introduced a new way of freely improvising, utilizing silence as well as high energy and "little instruments" as well as conventional horns. Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors were on that date and Mitchell's 1967 follow-up Old/Quartet.
With the addition of Joseph Jarman and Philip Wilson (who was later succeeded by Famoudou Don Moye), the Art Ensemble of Chicago was born. The colorful unit was one of the most popular groups in the jazz avant-garde and Mitchell was an integral part of the band. Roscoe Mitchell (who, in addition to his main horns, plays clarinet, flute, piccolo, oboe, baritone and bass saxophones) also was involved in individual projects through the years and has recorded as a leader for Delmark, Nessa, Sackville, Moers Music, 1750 Arch, Black Saint, Cecma and Silkheart in settings ranging from large ensembles to unaccompanied solo concerts. -- Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide
"[Mitchell] displayed amazing energy, stamina and focus. His circular breathing formed a prominent trait of the performance, the long continuous outbursts fizzing with modulations to keep his bristling roller-coaster abstractions aloft." - AllAboutJazz
JOHN EDWARDS / double bass
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
TANI TABBAL / drums
In Chicago, at age five, Tani Tabbal began playing and exploring drums, and by age fourteen he was a professional, playing and performing with Oscar Brown Jr. By the time age seventeen rolled around, Tani had already played with Phil Coran and was about to head out on tour with Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
Tani Tabbal became known for his fluidity with odd and mixed meters. His passion for the avant-garde and in pushing the jazz medium along with blending world rhythms, brought him in professional contact with jazz legends Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, and Richard Davis among others. He also played with the Detroit avante garde group Griot Galaxy. Tabbal has recorded, performed and toured with Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, James Carter, Geri Allen, and Casandra Wilson, to name a few. Tabbal is also in the percussion ensemble ‘Pieces of Time’ along with Andrew Cyrille, Famadou Don Moye, and Obo Addy.
Along with being a jazz drummer, Tani also plays percussion instruments of West Africa (djembe and doundoun), North India (tablas), and North Africa (doumbec).