Lester Bowie  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Lester Bowie (October 11, 1941–November 8, 1999) was an American jazz trumpet player and composer. He was a member of the AACM, and cofounded the Art Ensemble of Chicago.



As leader

Title Year Label
Numbers 1 & 2 1967 Nessa
Gittin' to Know Y'All (features Bowie conducting the Baden-Baden Free Jazz Orchestra) 1970 MPS
Fast Last! 1974 Muse
Rope-A-Dope 1976 Muse
African Children 1978 Horo
Duet (with Phillip Wilson) 1978 Improvising Artists
The 5th Power 1978 Black Saint
The Great Pretender 1981 ECM
All the Magic 1983 ECM
Bugle Boy Bop (with Charles "Bobo" Shaw) 1983 Muse
Duet (with Nobuyoshi Ino) 1985 Paddle Wheel

Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy

Title Year Label
I Only Have Eyes for You 1985 ECM
Avant Pop 1986 ECM
Twilight Dreams 1987 Venture
Serious Fun 1989 DIW
My Way 1990 DIW
Live at the 6th Tokyo Music Joy (with the Art Ensemble Of Chicago) 1990 DIW
The Fire This Time 1992 In & Out
The Odyssey Of Funk & Popular Music 1999 Atlantic

Lester Bowie's New York Organ Ensemble

Title Year Label
The Organizer 1991 DIW
Funky T. Cool T. 1992 DIW

With the Art Ensemble of Chicago

Title Year Label
Old/Quartet - Roscoe Mitchell 1967 Nessa
Numbers 1 & 2 - Lester Bowie 1967 Nessa
Congliptious - Roscoe Mitchell 1967 Nessa
A Jackson in Your House 1969 Actuel
Tutankhamun 1969 Freedom
the Spiritual 1969 Freedom
People in Sorrow 1969 Pathe Marconi
Message to Our Folks 1969 Actuel
Reese and the Smooth Ones 1969 Actuel
Eda Wobu 1969 JMY
Certain Blacks 1970 America
Go Home 1970 Galloway
Chi-Congo 1970 Paula
Les Stances a Sophie 1970 America
Live in Paris 1970 Freedom
Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass 1970 America
Phase One 1971 America
Live at Mandell Hall 1972 Delmark
Bap-Tizum 1972 Atlantic
Fanfare for the Warriors 1973 Atlantic
Kabalaba 1974 AECO
Nice Guys 1978 ECM
Live in Berlin 1979 West Wind
Full Force 1980 ECM
Urban Bushmen 1980 ECM
Among the People 1980 Praxis
The Complete Live in Japan 1984 DIW
The Third Decade 1984 ECM
Naked 1986 DIW
Ancient to the Future 1987 DIW
The Alternate Express 1989 DIW
Art Ensemble of Soweto 1990 DIW
America - South Africa 1990 DIW
Thelonious Sphere Monk with Cecil Taylor 1990 DIW
Dreaming of the Masters Suite 1990 DIW
Live at the 6th Tokyo Music Joy with Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy 1991 DIW
Fundamental Destiny with Don Pullen 1991 AECO
Salutes the Chicago Blues Tradition 1993 AECO
Coming Home Jamaica 1996 Atlantic
Urban Magic 1997 Musica Jazz

With the Leaders

As sideman

With David Bowie

With Jack DeJohnette

With Brigitte Fontaine

  • Comme à la Radio (Saravah, 1971)

With Melvin Jackson

  • Funky Skull (Limelight, 1969)

With Fela Kuti

With Frank Lowe

  • Fresh (Freedom, 1975)

With Jimmy Lyons

  • Free Jazz No. 1 (Concert Hall, 1969)
  • Other Afternoons (BYG, 1970)

With Roscoe Mitchell

With David Murray

With Sunny Murray

  • Sunshine (BYG, 1969)
  • Homage to Africa (BYG, 1969)

With Charles Bobo Shaw

  • Under the Sun (Freedom, 1973)
  • Streets of St. Louis (Moers Music, 1974)

With Archie Shepp

With Alan Silva

  • Seasons (BYG, 1971)

With Wadada Leo Smith

  • Free to Dance (Black Saint), 1979 (Marcello Melis)
  • 6 x 1 = 10 Duos for a New Decade (Circle), 1980 (John Fischer)
  • The Razor's Edge/Strangling Me With Your Love (Hannibal, 12"), 1982 (Defunkt)
  • The Ritual (Sound Aspects), 1985 (Kahil El'Zabar)
  • Meet Danny Wilson (Virgin), 1987 (Danny Wilson)
  • Sacred Love (Sound Aspects), 1988 (Kahil El'Zabar)
  • Avoid The Funk (Hannibal), 1988 (Defunkt)
  • Environ Days (Konnex), 1991 (John Fischer)


  • Philippe Carles, André Clergeat, and Jean-Louis Comolli, Dictionnaire du jazz, Paris, 1994
  • Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather and Brian Priestley, Jazz: the Essential Companion, London, 1987
  • Richard Cook and Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 6th Edition, 2002

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lester Bowie" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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