Review - Mean Ameen

Artist: Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble

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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