Reviews that mention Famoudou Don Moye

May 27, 2010

Wadada Leo Smith

Spiritual Dimensions
Cuneiform Rune 290/291

During a career that stretches from the mid-1960s, Mississippi-born trumpeter and educator Wadada Leo Smith has never followed one path. A founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM), Smith – who excelled at playing acoustic music with stylists such as reedist Anthony Braxton and drummer Günter Baby Sommer, has also become comfortable with electric instruments, most notably in the Yo Miles! project with guitarist Henry Kaiser.

However while accepting the strictures affiliated with thicker beats and electricity Smith also doesn’t kowtow to any accepted formula. Plugged-in wave forms are used in his compositions and performances exactly in the same fashion as acoustic timbres. Take this impressive two-CD set as an example. On the first disc, the percussion input is doubled, making what formerly was a Golden quartet a quintet; while on disc two, with the Organic ensemble, the string section includes not only bass, electric bass and cello, but also features at least three and sometimes four electric guitarists. MORE

November 15, 2005

Guelph Jazz Festival:

Improv On The Move
for CODA

Taking the concept of free-flowing improvisation a step further, one morning at this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), 15 musicians performed simultaneously in four different whitewashed rooms of the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.

The workshop developed this way, according to Ajay Heble, GJF artistic director, because so many musicians wanted to participate. Some – American alto saxophonist Marshall Allan, British pianist Veryan Weston, Québécois guitarist René Lussier and American banjoist Eugene Chadbourne – rooted on a spot and collaborated with whoever came along. Others moved from place to place and up and down the staircase as they played. MORE

March 7, 2005


Mean Ameen
Delmark DE-559

Sirius Calling
Pi Records Pi 11

An organization’s influence is reflected in how well it continues to evolve after it becomes old enough to become established. So it is with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music. Heading into its fifth decade, its membership has dispersed away from Chicago -- though the majority of AACMers, young and old, continue to reside in the Windy City -- and some of its more prominent members are starting to die. MORE

March 8, 2004


Tribute to Lester
ECM 1808

The Meeting
PI Recordings PI07

Could the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC) continue performing after the November 1999 death of Lester Bowie following 30 years of close collaboration? Sure, each members had his own side projects over the years and the band had survived the defection of reedman Joseph Jarman in 1993, but going on without the flamboyant presence of the lab-coat wearing trumpeter appeared impossible.

As Bowie once famously replied to another question: “Well, I guess it all depends on what you know,” and chuckled evilly. Not only did the three remaining members regroup to turn out TRIBUTE TO LESTER, but then the unexpected happened. Jarman brought his collection of reeds to mesh with the sounds from fellow reedist Roscoe Mitchell, plus bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye on THE MEETING, although the title may suggest a non-permanent hook-up. MORE

July 28, 2003


A Symphony of Cities
Southport/Asian Improv S-SSD 0096

AEC and AI provides the cross cultural unpinning of this rhythmically sophisticated and lengthy -- almost 72 minute -- CD.

To spell it out, percussionist Famoudou Don Moye, best-known for his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, is a longtime member of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which has always promoted an African-American view of jazz. Meanwhile bassist Tatsu Aoki, his partner here, is an organizing force within the national Asian Improv movement that identifies Asian-American contributions to the music. MORE