Experimental and Luminous
The saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell is best known as a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. But even when operating outside that pan-stylistic group, his approach contains multitudes. When I reviewed Mitchell’s concerts at the Park Avenue Armory in 2019, I marveled at his solo-saxophone heroics and meditative chamber music designs.
The composer’s latest record, released this week on the Wide Hive label, affords us an even broader view. Most jaw-dropping is the 20-minute title track, “Distant Radio Transmission,” performed here by Mitchell and a 33-piece orchestra conducted by Petr Kotik. Like many of Mitchell’s recent…