The Wire - 8/00, p.42
"...The group demonstrates how they build a compositional edifice from separate materials - an extension of their previous medley/suite practices....music that arrives at places completely foreign to the listener..."
Art Ensemble Of Chicago: Malachi Favors Maghostus (vocals, melodica, bass, percussion); Joseph Jarman (sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone & bass saxophones, piccolo, flute, alto flute, B-flat & bass clarinets, bassoon, conch shell, whistle, vibraphone, celeste, conch shell, congas, gong); Roscoe Mitchell (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone & bass saxophones, piccolo, flute, B-flat clarinet, congas, gong, glockenspiel); Lester Bowie (trumpet); Famoudou Don Moye (bike horn, conch shell, whistle, drums, bongos, congas, tympani, chimes, gong, wood block, cow bell).
Recorded at Columbia Recording Studios, New York, New York in January 1980.
The Art Ensemble of Chicago: Lester Bowie (trumpet).
Personnel: Famoudou Don Moye (drums, percussion); Joseph Jarman (flute, bass clarinet, reeds, sopranino saxophone, gong); Malachi Favors Maghostus (vocals, melodica, upright bass, percussion); Roscoe Mitchell (flute, reeds, soprano saxophone, percussion); Malachi Favors Moghostut (vocals, bass instrument, percussion).
The Art Ensemble of Chicago's second album for ECM, 1980's FULL FORCE, is a distinct improvement over their somewhat tentative label debut, 1978's NICE GUY. Where that album made somewhat too much of the group's much-vaunted eclecticism, FULL FORCE draws all the different strands of their influences into a powerful yet varied whole.
From the opening "Magg Zelma" to the closing title track, the group brings a certain manic energy to even the slower numbers by keeping solo passages brief, and rhythmic vamps to a minimum. Sometimes, the whole threatens to careen out of control, as on the hyperkinetic "Dance," which features drummer Don Noyes and bassist Malachi Favors alternating frenzied two-bar statements while Roscoe Mitchell and Joe Jarman trade fierce choruses on tenor and soprano sax. This is about as wild as modern creative jazz gets.