Nice Guys (album)

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For the 2005 film of the same name, see Nice Guys

Nice Guys
Nice Guys.jpg
Studio album by Art Ensemble of Chicago
Released 1979
Recorded May 1978; Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg
Genre Jazz
Label ECM
Producer Manfred Eicher
Art Ensemble of Chicago chronology
Nice Guys
Live in Berlin

Nice Guys is a 1979 album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, their first to appear on the ECM label. It features performances by Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors Maghostut and Don Moye.[1]


The Allmusic review by Al Campbell awarded the album 4½ stars noting that "Nice Guys was the first Art Ensemble of Chicago album released after a five-year recording hiatus and the group's first for the ECM label. During those five years, the Art Ensemble toured Europe and continued to expand its compositional, improvisational, and theatrical jazz fundamentals, captured abundantly on Nice Guys... the album reveals how the AEC managed to turn individual compositions into a fully realized, surprisingly accessible, avant garde group collective".[2] Down Beat critic Art Lange writes that Nice Guys, while not the Art Ensemble's best album, "is possibly their most representative, a variegated showcase illustrating much of what they do best."[3]The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded the album 3 stars out of 4 stating "'much of the music seems almost formulaic, the improvisation limited".[4]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.) 3/4 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 4/5 stars[5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ja" (Bowie) – 8:43
  2. "Nice Guys" (Mitchell) – 1:45
  3. "Folkus" (Moye) – 11:03
  4. "597–59" (Jarman) – 6:46
  5. "CYP" (Mitchell) – 4:53
  6. "Dreaming of the Master" (Jarman) – 11:40
  • Recorded May 1978 in Ludwigsburg



  1. ^ ECM Catalogue
  2. ^ a b Campbell, A. Allmusic Review accessed July 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Lange, Art (1994), Wynn, Ron, ed., All Music Guide to Jazz, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, p. 48, ISBN 0-87930-308-5 
  4. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-141-02327-4. 
  5. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 14. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.