Air

First among many ensembles in different genres that have chosen the name Air, this trio specializing in collective improvisation grew directly from the membership of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Throughout 11 albums that appeared over a span of one dozen years this group operated in modes comparable to that of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and at times some of Albert Ayler's early trio realizations. Its inception occurred in 1971, when saxophonist Henry Threadgill agreed to fulfill a request from the theater department at Chicago's Columbia College to devise modern arrangements based upon ragtime compositions of Scott Joplin (a concept borne to fruition by Anthony Braxton and Muhal Richard Abrams in 1976). Threadgill joined forces with bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall, and named the trio Reflection.