Although lots of narratives about jazz history ignore the Midwestern United States, Julius Hemphill and crew came along in the early 1970s in St. Louis, along with the AACM organization in Chicago, and made a case for the region’s relevance and importance. This is an amazing debut, released on Hemphill’s own M-Bari record label. The most distinctive feature is Abdul Wadud bowing and strumming his cello to a regular beat, which is matched against R&B tinged avant garde jazz soloing from the wind players. This music comes from a very different place than a lot of other jazz of the era, because it doesn’t seem to take the same sources of inspiration as artists operating on either coast. In forty years this hasn’t aged a day.