A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American by George E. Lewis PDF

By George E. Lewis

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Founded in 1965 and nonetheless lively at the present time, the organization for the development of inventive Musicians (AACM) is an American establishment with a world popularity. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as in 1971, establishes the entire value and power of the AACM with this communal heritage, written with a symphonic sweep that pulls on a cross-generational refrain of voices and a wealthy choice 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 desirable Than Itself uncovers a colourful, multicultural universe and brings to mild an immense piece of the historical past of avant-garde song and art.

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Afterword by way of: Peter Cameron
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Additional info for A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

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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. Like many migrants, Buck Jenkins lacked train fare, so one day in the 1920s he simply hopped a freight train from the little town of Prospect, Tennessee. After securing employment and housing, Uncle Buck earned enough money to send for Leroy’s father Henry, who found steady work at the Spot, a tavern at 43rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue on Chicago’s South Side.

For me, however, the interdisciplinary approaches to black music and improvisation in the Gabbard texts—the work of Nathaniel Mackey, Robert Walser, Lorenzo Turner, John Corbett, and Scott DeVeaux, among others (as well as the references to Adorno and Barthes) were inspiring, announcing a new generation of writers on improvised music who were, first, declining to conflate oversimplification with accessibility; second, asserting common cause with intellectuals in other fields concerning the ways in which music could announce social and cultural change; and finally, seeking liberation from the Sisyphean repetition of ersatz populist prolegomena that seemed endemic to the field.

At times, both musicians and audiences found themselves precariously situated atop the horns of a class-inflected populist-versus-elitist dilemma, grappling along the way with knotty issues of control and appropriation of a “cultural property,” black music, that was simultaneously the most commodified and the most closely policed music in history. Chapter 7: Americans in Paris This chapter chronicles the encounter with the European music scene by the eight AACM members who first ventured across the Atlantic in 1969.

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