Art Ensemble of Chicago celebrate 50 years with new record

    The jazz collective bring new collaborators into the fold on ‘We Are On the Edge.’

    Art Ensemble of Chicago at Granada Jazz Festival in 1992
    Art Ensemble of Chicago at Granada Jazz Festival in 1992. Image: Fin Costello / Redferns

    This year, the Art Ensemble of Chicago mark half a century of pushing musical boundaries. Last Friday, the collective celebrated this milestone by releasing a new record, We Are On the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

    We Are On the Edge comprises two discs: The first collects recordings from a studio session with new collaborators, and the second consists of live performances from last year’s Edgefest in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    Saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell and drummer/percussionist Famoudou Don Moye are the two surviving members of the Art Ensemble; the collective’s most recent loss was of woodwind player Joseph Jarman, who died earlier this year. For the studio sessions, Mitchell and Moye recruited collaborators including poet and experimental musician Moor Mother, opera singer Rodolfo Cordova-Lebron and cellist Tomeka Reid.

    Stream selected tracks from We Are On the Edge below and buy the full album on Bandcamp: