- Phil Freeman
The first episode of the Burning Ambulance podcast features an interview with legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell. Mitchell co-founded both the AACM and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and has been one of jazz’s most forward-looking and inspiring figures since the 1960s. His latest album, Discussions (get it from Amazon), features large-ensemble interpretations of music originally improvised by a trio featuring Mitchell himself, Craig Taborn on keyboards, and Kikanju Baku on percussion. About a week after this interview was recorded, Mitchell led a new incarnation of the Art Ensemble of Chicago in their first New York performance since 2004. The group featured Hugh Ragin on trumpet, Tomeka Reid on cello, Jaribu Shahid and Junius Paul on basses, and Famoudou Don Moye on drums, and former AEOC member Joseph Jarman made a special appearance, reading his poetry accompanied by the others.
The interview runs about 45 minutes; Mitchell talks about the Art Ensemble, his composition “Nonaah,” his other solo works, and much more. Stream it or download it below.