Three full albums – all presented in cool mini LP-styled sleeves! First up is The 5th Power – one of the best sessions as a leader ever cut by Lester Bowie – and one of the few to really share the warmth and imagination of his work with the Art Ensemble! The session features Bowie on trumpet, Arthur
Blyteh on alto, Amina Myers on piano and voice, Malachi Favors on bass, and Phillip Wilson on drums – working in a set of modes that replicates the sparer and more creative passages of Art Ensemble work of the early 70s. Some of the tunes are introspective, some are freer, and one number features a gospelly approach. Titles include "The 5th Power", "God Has Smiled On Me", "Sardegna Amore", and "BBB". Next are two albums that feature Bowie in The Leaders – the first of which is Out Here Like This – a great set by The Leaders, a group that's made up of players who are normally leaders on their own, but who work together here with the great spirit of a group! The lineup features Lester Bowie on trumpet, Arthur
Blythe on alto, Chico Freeman on tenor and soprano sax, Kirk Lightsey on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Don Moye on percussion – and the tracks are longish, overall – and shift easily between the straighter and more outside proclivities of the players on the set – making for a well-rounded album that showcases the mainstream aspects of the American avant scene of the time. Titles include "Donkey Dust", "Portraits", "Felicite", "Loves I Once Knew", and "Zero". Unforseen Blessings is one of the strongest albums from the Leaders sextet – an ensemble that features 6 of America's best left-of-center players of the time – all of them leaders of their own groups, putting aside ego to come together beautifully here! The set features Lester Bowie on trumpet, Arthur
Blythe on alto, Chico Freeman on tenor and soprano, Kirk Lightsey on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Don Moye on percussion – all jamming to a set of original tunes that vary between longer numbers and shorter bits that are interspersed between the tracks – a balance that further underscores the creativity of the players. Titles include "Lucia", "Now A Moment", "Heaven Dance", "Peacemaker", "The Search", "Lightish", and "Sun Percussion Six".