Sad to hear that Fontella Bass died on Boxing Day. That's not a name that will mean much to most people, but you'll know her one chart hit: the 1965 soul classic Rescue Me. Although she co-wrote the song, she never received royalties from her record label. Instead she withdrew from the mainstream music business and worked with her husband's band. Seeing as her husband was Lester Bowie, and the band was the Art Ensemble of Chicago this proved to be a smart move, artistically speaking. You can hear her on their classic Theme de Yoyo.
But here's something that free jazz fans and lovers of a good tune can both get behind. It's from the 1982 album All The Magic!, and Bass gives it the full gospel welly. The music starts like a hot wind blowing in from the Sahara before putting its marching band boots on. Joyous, inventive, sometimes a bit silly, but ultimately commanding. So long, Fontella.
Lester Bowie - Let The Good Times Roll