In the mid to late 60s, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell was at the center of a group of young Chicago-based musicians who were extending the language of the free jazz revolution, until then largely a New York-based phenomenon. That was about to change. Mitchell led a quartet that also included trumpeter Lester Bowie, bassist Malachi Favors, and drummer Phillip Wilson. By the time the group made its first record, saxophonist Joseph Jarman had replaced Wilson, and shortly thereafter the group named itself The Art Ensemble of Chicago. The style of this seminal ensemble was being defined when the rehearsal tapes that comprise Old/Quartet Sessions were made in 1967. Mitchell & Co. were not afraid to blow through the roof in the fiery style of their New York counterparts, but they also liked to reach back towards musical roots (“Old” is a 12-bar blues on which the traditional structure is respected, if not overmuch), as well as towards contemporary classical developments, or anywhere else that suited them. The tone can be passionate, ironic, whimsical, or sedate, sometimes all at the same time. This release marks the first time these recordings have been presented in one package.