Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble Black Unstoppable

An album I have been enjoying over the last couple of weeks is Nicole Mitchell's latest from Delmark;

"Nicole Mitchell is on her way to becoming the greatest living flutist injazz"- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, 2007

"My life is about the music. Music has the power to get people together to do something positive." - Nicole Mitchell

And that is exactly what Nicole is doing for the Chicago jazz scene and beyond. The prolific Nicole is not only one of the leading jazz flutists in the world (DownBeat's #1 rising star flutist 3 yrs in a row now), but co-president of Chicago's AACM and 2006 Chicagoan of the year, director of a university jazz ensemble, and leads many workshops and residencies all over the U.S. and Europe. Nicole's multi-ethnic/genre Black Earth Ensemble is her most exciting and critically acclaimed group of her many musical projects and the main outlet for her creative compositions, free jazz energy and the intricate ensemble work. Delmark welcomes Nicole, our first recorded female instrumental leader in 55 years!

The lovely U gochi is a featured vocalist on 3 songs, including a duet with rising star trumpeter David Young on "Love Has No Boundaries." The rhythm section of renowned guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and bassist Josh Abrams (The Roots) lays down a heavy Afrobeat groove on "Life Wants You to Love," and Parker tears it up with a menacing solo on "Thanking the Universe." The intense "Sun Cycles" & "Cause and Effect" feature great horn ensemble work with distinctive Nicole flute solos and some wild sax from David Boykin. Cellist Tomeka Reid adds much texture throughout, as in the powerful "Black Unstoppable!"

"Music is the healing force of the universe" - Albert Ayler

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