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

By George E. Lewis

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Founded in 1965 and nonetheless energetic at the present time, the organization for the development of artistic Musicians (AACM) is an American establishment with a global attractiveness. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as in 1971, establishes the whole significance and power of the AACM with this communal historical past, written with a symphonic sweep that attracts on a cross-generational refrain of voices and a wealthy selection of infrequent images.

Moving from Chicago to big apple to Paris, and from founding member Steve McCall’s kitchen desk to Carnegie corridor, A strength enhanced Than Itself uncovers a colourful, multicultural universe and brings to gentle a big piece of the historical past of avant-garde tune and art.

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Extra info for A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

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Abrams and Donavon met at Forrestville School, a couple of blocks from their homes. Other Forrestville pupils included Leroy Jenkins, saxophonist Johnny Griffin and trumpeter and record producer Paul Serrano. Of course, as Abrams recalled, “Forrestville was a standard public school, based on white history. There was no mention of black people in history at all, not even George Washington Carver. You studied about Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci. ” Despite these limitations, however, the teachers were committed to their pedagogical mission.

19 Some fires were deliberately set by landlords, often with fatal results, and in many cases, the surviving tenants simply moved back into the burned-out buildings. Among Favors’s many vivid childhood memories of summer, the spectacle of dead rats in the street as roadkill stands out. 20 Naturally, everyone was trying to bring in money. During World War II, the ubiquitous “victory gardens,” established as support for the American troops abroad, also provided needed food for those at home. Donavon’s father held down two or three jobs at once—carpentry work, cab driving, and later a stint as a Pullman porter, while Donavon did paper routes and set pins in bowling alleys to bring money home.

This concretization also comes bundled with an attempt to discursively revoke the mobility of the musicians themselves. To shore up this concretion, an ad hominem–based essentialism is deployed in asserting that the creative musicians were “really” jazz musicians after all. ” The usual rejoinder to this expres- Chapter Summaries :: xli sion of self-determination draws heavily upon a vulgar version of the institutional theory of art—that is, whatever they may call themselves, these musicians were part of an economic and social art world of jazz—or, as Eddie Murphy’s gruff barber character in the film Coming to America spat out in dismissing Muhammad Ali’s declared change of name, “I’m gonna call him Clay.

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