Lest we forget. And certainly, how could we forget the struggles of the late-sixties and early- 1970s against racism, oppression, the Vietnam War? With the assassinations of JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, and Bobby Kennedy and the counter-culture movement scrambling the American identity, some believed the country was ripe for its own revolution. Music was (and I cannot now honestly say 'is') on the front lines of the rebellion. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's reaction to Kent State, Ohio," was recorded less than 3 weeks after the National Guard killed 4 civilians. Charles Mingus' Fables of Faubus" criticized the ...read more
Saxophonist Archie Shepp wrote Attica Blues" in 1972, not long after a five-day uprising at that New York state prison left thirty-nine people dead, twenty-nine of whom were inmates. Now, more than forty years later, Shepp's Attica Blues Orchestra (comprised for the most part of French musicians) has resurrected the Blues" and made it the linchpin of a new album, I Hear the Sound, which includes five more compositions by Shepp, three by Cal Massey, one by pianist Amina Claudine Myers and Duke Ellington's Come Sunday," arranged by Ernie Wilkins. The strident, toe-tapping Blues," which opens with ...read more
Recorded in France in 2012 and 2013, I Hear the Sound is a live recording of saxophonist Archie Shepp's oratorio, Attica Blues," co-written and arranged with Cal Massey in 1971, which was first heard on an Impulse! album a year later. Most of that album, Attica Blues, is revisited, with some adjustments to the running order of the tunes. In addition, Duke Ellington's Come Sunday" is woven into the middle of the suite, and Shepp's Mama Too Tight," the title track of a 1967 Impulse! album, serves as a coda. The background: On September 9, 1971, a riot ...read more
Archie Shepp & Joachim KühnWo!manArchie Ball2011 At first glance, the pairing of veteran American saxophonist Archie Shepp and German pianist Joachim Kühn seems an unlikely one. But Wo!man is not the first time the two have performed together. Two or three decades back--Shepp says that he cannot now remember the year exactly--the saxophonist worked with Kühn in a band led by Finnish drummer Edward Vesala. It is a real pleasure, Shepp says, to have been reunited. The pleasure is not, moreover, entirely Shepp's, nor Kühn's, for Wo!man is ...read more
In 1963, cornetist Don Cherry , tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp , drummer J.C. Moses, alto saxophonist John Tchicai and bassist Don Moore performed at the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen . At the time, Cherry was just coming off from playing with Ornette Coleman, while Shepp was transitioning from Bill Dixon. Tchicai had met Cherry and Shepp in New York and become part of the collective. Cherry was the most assured of the five, having developed and honed his skills--not only with Coleman, but through his interests in music from other genres. Perhaps it is the very raw and ...read more
Although saxophonist Archie Shepp is listed as the leader of this release, The New York Contemporary Five was really a collective; a short-lived, free jazz super-group from the early 1960s. The band, with a front line of Shepp, cornetist Don Cherry and alto saxophonist John Tchicai, was recorded live at the famed Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 15, 1963. Originally released as a two-volume set on the Sonet label, volume one of that set is reissued here for the first time on CD in the U.S. by Chicago's Delmark Records.Cherry's Cisum" opens the disc with a ...read more
Bebop was considered a radical departure for jazz music during its formation in the 1940s and 1950s, pioneered by drummer Max Roach, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie among others. Coupled with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp's 1960s avant-garde jazz proclivities, the artists respectively helped procure a prismatic and non-traditional perspective on the jazz idiom. However, their discographies indicate sojourns into more mainstream ventures as well. This duo outing was captured live at a 1979 performance at Jazzfestival Willisau in Switzerland and highlights the instrumentalists comprehensive approach to jazz.
Roach launches the festivities with one of his infamous, lyrical and ...read more