By George E. Lewis
Founded in 1965 and nonetheless energetic at the present time, the organization for the development of artistic Musicians (AACM) is an American establishment with a global popularity. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as in 1971, establishes the complete significance and power of the AACM with this communal historical past, written with a symphonic sweep that attracts on a cross-generational refrain of voices and a wealthy number of infrequent images.
Moving from Chicago to big apple to Paris, and from founding member Steve McCall’s kitchen desk to Carnegie corridor, A energy more suitable Than Itself uncovers a colourful, multicultural universe and brings to mild an incredible piece of the heritage of avant-garde track and art.
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Extra resources for A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music
The first-generation AACM founders were all children of the first wave of migrants to venture north. 2 Like many migrants’ recollections, the stories of the South told by the early AACM founders tended to coalesce around the theme of loss: in particular, the loss of land, and the fall from a state of independence that such losses produced. Another Southern theme concerned the social and physical violence to which these communities were constantly subjected; usually, some watershed threat obliged the former Southerners to become refugees.
4 The incident prompted Donavon’s family, as with so many other black migrants, to abandon the area. Arriving in Chicago in the early 1930s, Donavon’s family stayed at their grandfather’s South Side home, a six-room apartment on 43rd Street and St. Lawrence Avenue, where one of Donavon’s uncles was also living. Leroy Jenkins’s great-uncle Buck had come to Chicago under very different conditions from the fabled train ride of Louis Armstrong from New Orleans that has become the stuff of nostalgia.
Rather than a band, these musicians were realizing a cultural organization. I examine the role of race in the discussions, situating the meetings in a space analogous to that inhabited by other grassroots black organizations that were started during the early Black Power period, in which a younger generation of black activists were sharply critical of what they saw as the failure of biracial coalition politics to improve social and economic conditions for African Americans. ” Clearly, had they wished to do so, the founders and original members could easily have included “jazz” in the name of the collective.
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis