Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Les Stances A Sophie | 2018 Reissue

Soul Jazz Records

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“Les Stances a Sophie is a 1970 soundtrack album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded in Paris for a French film of the same name directed by Moshé Mizrahi. It was released on the Pathé Marconi label in France and on Nessa Records in the U.S. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Fontella Bass and Don Moye. Moshé Mizrahi commissioned the original music for the film when the band had only two weeks left on their French visas.” – Wiki

In 1970, without even seeing the film, the Art Ensemble agreed to produce the soundtrack to new wave director,Moshe Misrahi's latest film. While there's a great tradition of American jazz put into service for French cinema, going back to Miles' wonderful soundtrack to Louis Malle's Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, this amazing record is a much more radical beast befitting its times…

…Long sought after and whispered about by jazzheads in awed tones, the world can now finally catch up with what many regard as one of the best jazz albums of all time. The reason it works so well is the variety contained herein. The two saxes of Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell combined with Lester Bowie's trumpet can veer from swing to classical with ease. In fact they apply this stylistic dexterity on two adaptations of a Monteverdi theme.

What's more even when the band blow free (as on the appropriately named Theme Libre) it's always with a cheeky sense of humour. Voguishly the track Theme Amour Universal saw the whole band moaning and wailing a la the Morroccan Master Musicians of Joujouka, adding credence to their motto of making music that was ''Ancient To the Future''.And topping it all off is the inclusion of Lester Bowie's wife at the time, Fontella Bass. The opening track, Theme For Yoyo, has long been regarded as a jazz funk masterpiece. It's cascading brass entry ushering a blistering vocal cameo that's oddly erotic and surreal at the same time. ''Your fanny's just like two sperm whales floating down the Seine...Your love is like an oil well, dig it on the Champs Elysee'' wails Bass.

While the Ensemble were to remain in France and record great albums for Freedom and BYG labels, this album still stands as a pinnacle of its era. – BBC Music

Item description:        


Art Ensemble Of Chicago


Les Stances A Sophie


Soul Jazz Records


Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered



Release Date:

This reissue: 2018 | Original: 1970


Jazz, Stage & Screen


Free Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Contemporary Jazz

Catalog No: