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A Jackson in Your House / Message to Our Folks / Reese and the Smooth Ones

A Jackson in Your House / Message to Our Folks / Reese and the Smooth Ones by Art Ensemble of Chicago
Released: Feb 2013
Label: Charly
The leaders of the then-New Black Music cut 13 LPs during 1969-70, their season as the toast of France. The titles go in and out of print, so this reissue of three albums is key. The contents are mind-boggling: The title track for A Jackson in Your House starts off abstract before brewing a fine New Orleans stomp, "Get in Line" has free-bop, "Old Time Religion" updates gospel, and "Rock Out" deconstructs R&B. The long-form Reese and the Smooth Ones even has an electric guitar freak-out on Side B. Plus the band proves handy with Bird's "Dexterity." Forty years later, it all still sounds new.
Seth Colter Walls
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