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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Review - Mean Ameen

Artist: Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble

Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 4:00 AM

Hearing the echoes of the AACM still reverberating through the Chicago jazz scene is endlessly inspiring. The rhythmic solidity, Afrocentric melodic sway and improvisational intensity of this four-decades-old institution founded by Art Ensemble of Chicago members is one of the cornerstones of free jazz and, along with the still-choogling FMP/Leo Euro-jazz movement, one of the few still extant. This latest album by saxophonist Dawkins is a tribute to the late trumpeter Ameen Muhammad (who used to be a member of Dawkins' group) and is brimming with celebratory fire ' Dawkins is absolutely electric on these half-dozen tracks. By the time the album closer rolls around (the 16-minute barnstormer "Buster and the Search for the Human Genome"), the group has provided as much a tribute to Ameen as it has to the unyielding inspiration of the AACM and Chicago jazz.

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