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Chase is a remarkable instrumentalist—a dazzling technician and apparently fearless experimenter—but she's also a font of energy and ideas, and helped turn an ensemble originally financed in part with tips she earned as a caterer into a multicity music organization with an annual budget of close to a million dollars. Chase is only 34, and it's especially nice to see MacArthur recognizing a musician who's more able to put the money ($100,000 yearly for five years) to use in building for the future, rather than honoring masters in their autumn of their careers (no offense to past winners such as Max Roach, Ornette Coleman, and Anthony Braxton).
Russ Johnson, Save Big (OmniTone)
Sun Ra, Disco 3000 (Art Yard)
Agali Ag Amoumine, Takamba (Mississippi/Change/Sahel Sounds)
Annea Lockwood, Early Works 1967-82 (Em)
Albert Ayler, Stockholm, Berlin 1966 (Hatology)