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Message to Our FolksThe Art Ensemble of Chicago$
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Paul Steinbeck

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226375960

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226376011.001.0001

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Great Black Music

Great Black Music

(p.213) 8 Great Black Music
Message to Our Folks

Paul Steinbeck

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 8 addresses the Art Ensemble’s tenure at ECM Records, when the group achieved international renown and critical acclaim. By the 1980s, the band was touring more widely than ever, both abroad and at home. In the United States, the musicians’ mastery of intermedia allowed them to break into the performing-arts scene, while the success of their ECM albums earned them a prominent place in the jazz community, which was contending with the rise of a powerful traditionalist movement headed by Wynton Marsalis. This movement attracted many opponents, including the members of the Art Ensemble, who resisted traditionalism by proposing an alternative aesthetic, expressed in their evocative slogan “Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future.”

Keywords:   Ancient to the Future, Art Ensemble of Chicago, critics, ECM Records, Great Black Music, intermedia, jazz, performing arts, tours, Wynton Marsalis

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