Since its birth in the mid-60s, a key element in the innovative world of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians has been percussion. Listen to early records by Muhal Richard Abrams (Levels and Degrees of Light) and Joseph Jarman (Song For) on Delmark, for instance, and you’ll hear the constant tinkling of bells and bopping of objects, and you can detect the ongoing influence of the AACM’s “little instruments” approach whenever a member of 8 Bold Souls injects a toy-trumpet toot or wood-block pop into another player’s solo. For more than 20 years, Famoudou Don Moye has been at the center of the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s thick percussion underbrush, augmenting his devastating power at the standard drum kit with African instruments like the balafon and talking drum (he calls his multiple-tooled assemblage and unique approach “Sun Percussion”). This special event sits Moye amid numerous percussionists–Mamane Famake, Enoch Williamson, Meshach Silias, Clifton Robertson, and Selah Allen (on vocals and percussion)–as well as Herb Walker on guitar and Bobo Brown on bass. But the evening’s biggest draw may well be a chance to see Windy City reedmen Ari Brown (who doubles on keyboards) and Ed Wilkerson Jr. side by side in the same band. Saturday, 9:30 PM, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/A. Biondo.