7 Songs, 46 Minutes


About The Leaders

The Leaders was a veritable supergroup of leftward-leaning, mid-'80s jazz stars. Its front line was comprised of three of the era's important personalities -- trumpeter Lester Bowie, from the decade's most critically acclaimed band, the Art Ensemble of Chicago; alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, whose Columbia albums of the time almost (but not quite) brought free jazz a measure of popular acceptance; and tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, who made a series of records that melded the best of mainstream jazz with the passion and originality of the avant-garde. The horns combined with pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Famoudou Don Moye to make a pair of generally fine, if unspectacular, records. Like most (if not all) supergroups, the Leaders existed primarily as a novelty. It seems the band was designed more to attract attention than to exist as an evolving creative entity. The rhythm section also recorded independently for Sunnyside as the Leaders Trio. ~ Chris Kelsey




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