The AACM means a new order; possibility of order in the middle of
the musical, catch-as-catch-can world.
—J. B. Figi, “Jazz”
On August 5, 1965, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was chartered by the State of Illinois as a nonprofit, taxexempt organization. The incorporators, or signatories to the charter, were Philip Cohran, Stephen McCall, Jodie Christian, Sandra Lashley, and Richard Abrams. The board of directors listed on this first official AACM document included Eugene Easton, Lester H. Lashley, Malachi Favors, Jodie Christian, and flutist Robert R. Green. The official address of the corporation was listed as 511 East 87th Place, the address of Lester and Sandra Lashley.1 Legally, the organization was obliged to state its purposes to be chartered. Rather than cobbling together a set of vague phrases in the interests of flexibility, the organization took this obligation with the utmost seriousness. Particularly for a “Number Nine” organization, the resulting set of nine purposes reflected serious engagement with social, cultural, and spiritual issues affecting black musicians and their community.
Historian Eric Porter points out that despite many bebop musicians' attempts to foster an image of respectability, the music was