Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp: I Hear A Sound

Read "I Hear A Sound" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp Attica Blues Orchestra: I Hear the Sound

Read "I Hear the Sound" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp Attica Blues Orchestra: I Hear the Sound

Read "I Hear the Sound" reviewed by

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Archie Shepp and Joachim Kuhn: Wo!man

Read "Archie Shepp and Joachim Kuhn: Wo!man" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp: The New York Contemporary Five

Read "The New York Contemporary Five" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp: The New York Contemporary Five

Read "The New York Contemporary Five" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Max Roach & Archie Shepp: The Long March

Read "The Long March" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Max Roach / Archie Shepp: The Long March

Read "The Long March" reviewed by

Recorded live in concert at the Willisau Jazz Festival on August 30, 1979, The Long March documents another of drummer Max Roach's historic duo collaborations with the leaders of the jazz avant-garde. This stellar date with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp follows Streams of Consciousness (Piadrum, 1977), with pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, and Birth and Rebirth (Black Saint, 1978), with multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, predating Historic Concerts (Soul Note, 1979), his meeting with pianist Cecil Taylor, by only a few months.

Despite a generational divide, Roach and Shepp share a similar revolutionary ideology, finding common accord in an artistic aesthetic motivated ...

INTERVIEWS

Archie Shepp: Knowing the Life

Read "Archie Shepp: Knowing the Life"

Saxophonist, pianist, writer and composer Archie Shepp was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida May 24, 1937 and grew up in Philadelphia playing with hard-bop luminaries such as Lee Morgan and Bobby Timmons. A move to New York in the 1960s and early gigs with Cecil Taylor aligned him with the avant-garde, leading to work with John Coltrane and a recording contract for Impulse!. Shepp's travels have taken him to Africa and Europe and his musical engagements have been diverse, capturing a range of the modern Afro-American experience.All About Jazz: I'd like to start by discussing your latest projects ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp: Kwanza

Read "Kwanza" reviewed by

Albert Ayler flamed like phosphorous for a few years, spoke like an Old Testament prophet, wore leather trousers and died young in mysterious circumstances. Archie Shepp burned just as bright, but has lived to a ripe age, growing to embrace the mainstream, and has had one foot in academe for much of his career. The two saxophonists, along with John Coltrane, personified the Impulse! label during its giddy zenith, but Ayler's highly marketable legend, now of mythic proportions, has grown to overshadow Shepp's contributions to the label and the “new thing."

Kwanza catches Shepp at his most funked up and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp: Kwanza

Read "Kwanza" reviewed by

This big band session collects all of Archie Shepp's virtues as a composer, saxophonist and jazz dramaticist and puts them into one glorious package. Like the African-American holiday this album is named after, it's an imposing hybrid form, a sprawling mass of experimental jazz circa 1969 sharply peppered with funk, blues, and myriad musical evocations of an imaginary “Africa." Not only was Shepp consistently soloing with as much dynamic originality as he would ever do--gruff, hoarse, but consistently and logically lyrical--his assemblage of players was absolutely at their peak. The shamefully under-recognized trombonist Grachan Moncur III plays ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Tenor Badness: Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Gato Barbieri

Read "Tenor Badness: Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Gato Barbieri"

During Albert Ayler's performance at John Coltrane's funeral on June 21, 1967, Ayler described Coltrane as the “father," Pharoah Sanders as the “son," and himself as the “holy ghost." The remark generated as much fury among the jazz establishment as Ayler's incendiary--and still howlingly divine--music, but the description, so far as it went, was spot on.

Ayler omitted that other great Coltrane-sponsored Impulse! tenor saxophonist, Archie Shepp--there's only room for three in anyone's trinity--but Shepp might be described as Ayler's “brother." And if Gato Barbieri had been included in the Coltrane family tree, he'd be the “love child" (albeit one ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Roswell Rudd & Archie Shepp: Roswell Rudd & Black Gipsy

Read "Roswell Rudd & Archie Shepp:  Roswell Rudd & Black Gipsy"

A phenomenal outpouring of reissued '60s timepieces has come stateside. Available for the first time on CD are seminal recordings by Steve Lacy, Alan Shorter, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Frank Wright, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, and Roswell Rudd from Verve's collectable Free America catalogue.

Roswell Rudd Roswell Rudd Verve/Free America 2005 (1965)

Rudd's eponymous session from 1965 features a piano-less two-horn quartet with New York Art Quartet co-founder John Tchicai. Accentuating the altoist's solos, Rudd embellishes free expressions with an unflappable empathy ("Old Stuff ). “Sweet Smells, the second of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Archie Shepp/Siegfried Kessler: First Take

Read "First Take" reviewed by

Paired with German pianist Siegfried Kessler, Archie Shepp finds himself in an evocative mood on First Take. Recorded live in France, they perform an intimate and at times haunting set of six tunes. The disc begins with the 22-minute sojourn of “Les Matin de Noirs" ("The Morning of the Blacks"). A surprisingly smooth ride, considering its length, the opening number goes a long way to ease and convince the listener of the album's gentle vibe. Shepp never pushes and Kessler never insists, resulting in an intricate, musical dance of subtleties and niceties.

Versions of Billy Strayhorn's “Lush Life," Duke Ellington's ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.