Born: August 3, 1940 Primary Instrument: Reeds
One of the top saxophonists to come out of Chicago's AACM movement of the mid-'60s, Roscoe Mitchell is a particularly strong and consistently adventurous improviser long associated with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. After getting out of the military, Mitchell led a hard bop sextet in Chicago (1961) which gradually became much freer.
He was a member of Muhal Richard Abrams's Experimental Band and a founding member of the AACM in 1965. Mitchell's monumental Sound album (1966) introduced a new way of freely improvising, utilizing silence as well as high energy and little instruments as well as conventional horns. Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors were on that date and Mitchell's 1967 follow-up Old/Quartet....