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By George E. Lewis

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Founded in 1965 and nonetheless lively at the present time, the organization for the development of artistic Musicians (AACM) is an American establishment with a global attractiveness. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as in 1971, establishes the whole significance and power of the AACM with this communal historical past, written with a symphonic sweep that pulls on a cross-generational refrain of voices and a wealthy selection 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 better Than Itself uncovers a colourful, multicultural universe and brings to mild an immense piece of the background of avant-garde tune and art.

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Extra resources for A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

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In this light, it becomes easier to understand the task undertaken by the AACM musicians (as well as artists such as Ornette Coleman) to articulate a mobility of practice that in relatively nonracialized circumstances would be seen as operating outside the frame of jazz. Clearly, for these black working-class musicians, sound and musical method were not enough to accomplish that feat; in fact, the socially determined frame of jazz definition continually transformed its topography to accommodate virtually any direction these and other black musicians might take.

Abrams and his brother would pull the cart around the neighborhood, eventually arriving at a junkyard on State Street, where the items would be sold. Black people believed fervently in the American Dream and strove to realize the classic American paradox of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. 21 After his parents’ divorce, as Leroy Jenkins recalls, “We were on welfare for a little while. We used to get free milk. ”22 Nonetheless, members of this earliest AACM generation did not consider themselves deprived.

As sociologists St. ”10 Clustered around this center of the “Black Belt” were its major commercial, financial, service, and religious institutions, such as the Hotel Grand, and Provident Hospital, founded by black physician Daniel Hale Williams, the first doctor to successfully perform open-heart surgery. Right at 47th and South Park was the Regal Theater, a major symbol of black entertainment in pre-1960s Chicago, where virtually anyone who was anyone in black popular music performed. Hard by the Regal were many other important centers for live music, such as the Savoy Ballroom, the Club De Lisa, the Sutherland Lounge, and literally hundreds of smaller, more intimate nightspots.

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