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Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble

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  • Born: Syracuse, NY
  • Years Active: 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Chicago Afrocentric singer/flutist/piccolo player Nicole Mitchell has been part of the area's jazz/experimental music scene since the early '90s. First lending her talents to other artist's projects (David Boykin, Ed Wilkerson), Mitchell issued her solo debut in 2001, titled Vision Quest, credited to Nicole Mitchell and Black Earth Ensemble. Joined on the recording by a host of other musicians (violinists Savoir Faire and Edith Yokley, bassist Darius Savage, plus percussionists Hamid Drake and Avreeayl Ra), Vision Quest received favorable reviews in the Chicago music press, as avant-jazz veteran (and fellow flutist) James Newton offered praise, saying that Newton "has produced new techniques that have not yet been heard from any other flutist." A year later, Afrika Rising arrived on Dreamtime Records. It was also credited to the Mitchell/Black Earth Ensemble combination, continuing her collaborations with the large Chicago-area ensemble.

eMusic Features

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Six Degrees of Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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The AACM in Chicago Now: A Few Bold Souls

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

In A Power Stronger Than Itself, George Lewis's book on the AACM we were raving about last month, the original Chicago chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians went through a rough patch after a mid-'70s exodus/brain drain saw many AACM principals moving to New York. They included heavy hitters like Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Lester Bowie and Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Chico Freeman and… more »