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Archie Shepp


StarThrower
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I haven't seen any discussion on Shepp here, with the exception of an old thread about Coral Rock, which I haven't heard. I've been revisiting most of my Shepp albums in the past two weeks.

Live In San Francisco

Mama Too Tight

The Way Ahead

Kwanza

Attica Blues

San Francisco, and The Way Ahead sounding the best to these ears.

I'm still trying to locate my copies of Magic Of Juju, and The Cry Of My People. And I haven't revisited Four For Trane, because I know that one the best. I just picked up a reissue of some '75 material on a CD called Lybia [sic]. Not the original title, but some cooking straight ahead stuff. I didn't think of it at the time of purchase, but it could be a bootleg? I can't recall the label at the moment.

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FWIW, probably little indeed, I may be one the few people that can claim having seen an Archie Shepp dramatic play. In fact it was a trilogy of plays by Shepp performed around 1971 at Brooklyn College. The themes were in keeping with the then-boiling cauldron of Black Nationalism and the only line I recall is (we're) ' a SIMPLE people'-repeated with dripping irony at critical points. The other thing that springs to mind re. Mr. Shepp, sadly, was though hip enough to have two people dear to me-Clarence 'C' Sharpe and his wife China (Lynn Perrault, a singer) on his recording For Losers, he torpedoed C.'s solo on I Got it Bad by playing an overbearing and unnecessary obligotto throughout it. Should've laid out. Other than the latter story I hold no truck with the talents or vision of Archie Shepp. If anyone knows something about those plays please speak up!

Edited by fasstrack
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I just picked up a reissue of some '75 material on a CD called Lybia [sic]. Not the original title, but some cooking straight ahead stuff. I didn't think of it at the time of purchase, but it could be a bootleg? I can't recall the label at the moment.

Originally on Horo vinyl as Body & Soul and Jazz a Confronto 27, IIRC. Not authorized in any way.

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Thanks for the links to the older threads! I guess I missed out on the Attica Blues Big Band CD? I've never read about or seen a listing for that one anywhere.

It's available direct from Futura/Marge Records in Paris

http://futuramarge.free.fr/

Not the easiest site to navigate. Click "Blue Marge" and it's # "1001".

I've bought directly from them via the website with no problem.

Edited by Head Man
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Saw Shepp live several times.

The first time was in the late 70´s and I think this was the greatest quartet, with Siegfried Kessler on piano, Bob Cunningham on bass and Clifford Jarvis on drums.

I still remember that concert very well, and the next day I hurried to the record dealer to purchase "Bird Fire" with the same group, plus an obscure trumpet player....

Later I think I saw him with Ken Werner, a bass Santi De......, and John Betsch, also a great group but not as great as the first.

The last time I saw him with a trio. Maybe Mr. Shepp had lost some of his chops due to his advanced age, but he played some really Monkish piano.

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Thanks for the links to the older threads! I guess I missed out on the Attica Blues Big Band CD? I've never read about or seen a listing for that one anywhere.

It's available direct from Futura/Marge Records in Paris

http://futuramarge.free.fr/

Not the easiest site to navigate. Click "Blue Marge" and it's # "1001".

I've bought directly from them via the website with no problem.

Thanks! I'll look it up. I just found my copy of The Cry Of My People.

Will give it a listen this weekend.

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Only time I saw him was in duet with Andrew Hill some years ago now. An evening that was equal parts strange and awe-inspiring. Not really a marriage made in heaven but one of convenience perhaps.

Count me in as a fan of the Impulse releases but I've never warmed to the later ones. Maybe now's a time to investigate further

Edited by mjazzg
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Only time I saw him was in duet with Andrew Hill some years ago now.

Was that the Queen Elizabeth hall gig? I was there at that one too. Hill's solo set was particularly good that night. 2000/2001?

Yes, that's the one. I'd gone more for Hill than Shepp and agree about the solo set. Just checked and it looks like it was 2000. Guardian review here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2000/apr/17/jazz

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The NYC 5, the Shepp/Dixon Quartet, Four for Trane are among my favourite records. I enjoyed the Moncur/Rudd band,especially live, I was lucky to see them perform several times. I'm sorry to say that anything after didn't grab me to the same extent. I can't say that I've heard to much from the post Impulse period but on the few I have heard he doesn't he didn't sound particularly engaged.

I was introduced to Mr Shepp during his spell at Ronnie Scott's, I was overawed, nervous and at my tender age I couldn't think of anything sensible to say.



Only time I saw him was in duet with Andrew Hill some years ago now.

Was that the Queen Elizabeth hall gig? I was there at that one too. Hill's solo set was particularly good that night. 2000/2001?

I was there too, I don't recall it being very memorable.

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Only time I saw him was in duet with Andrew Hill some years ago now.

Was that the Queen Elizabeth hall gig? I was there at that one too. Hill's solo set was particularly good that night. 2000/2001?

I was there too, I don't recall it being very memorable.

The performance by the duo certainly wasn't that memorable (yet another 'Mama Rose') and came across as under-rehearsed but the Hill solo recitation was a good one IMO. I believe that excerpts from this performance were placed on his website.

Only time I saw him was in duet with Andrew Hill some years ago now.

Was that the Queen Elizabeth hall gig? I was there at that one too. Hill's solo set was particularly good that night. 2000/2001?

Yes, that's the one. I'd gone more for Hill than Shepp and agree about the solo set. Just checked and it looks like it was 2000. Guardian review here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2000/apr/17/jazz

Thanks for this - first time I've seen that review.

Edited by sidewinder
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I remember playing Round Midnight off The Down Home New York album to a Blues loving alto player many years ago. He was taken aback and turned to me and said 'wow......he plays a natural note......just for effect' :D

The great Archie Shepp!

Sheep

Sheap

Sheet

Schep

Shep

Yeah, that one cut fucked me UP the first time I hear d it back in the day. For real.

It could well be argued that everything that Shepp plays is "for effect", that he's as much or more of a dramatist than a "music for music's sake" kind of a guy . That's not a bad thing in and of itself, imo, and there have been quite a few times when Shepp's "dramas" have had more immediacy and/or "meaning" to me than have the "realities" of others.

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It mostly always comes through to me as raw beauty, especially the so called 'later' stuff people seem to have reservations about. Then again, I don't listen to it backed up 'on mass' so to speak, so maybe served up all at once might make people dismiss it as 'melodramatic'. But it always sounds beautifully sincere to me. A smile and a tear in every phrase.

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The sincerity's a given, at least it has been for me, always. I get the charges of "melodramatic", but only sometimes. The other times, it's either godfucking awful or godfucking BEAUTIFUL, yes.

The whole "Mama Rose" thing, the one with the recitation, that's the work of a conscious, controlled dramatist, not some angsty spleen-venter. And I do mean that as a high compliment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2K3NE1Jrug

I mean, hey, plenty of angsty spleen-veneters never get past and/or out of it alive in any notable form. Let's hear it for those who can be controlled and conscious about it.

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Some of the most vitals albums by Shepp were the ones he recorded for Byg Actuel, in particular 'Yasmina, a Black Woman', 'Poem for Malcolm' and 'Blasé' (this one with the unique contribution by Jeanne Lee)!

Saw and heard him on numerous occasions in the sixties when he was playing fire music. Like JohnS I was overwhelmed by the Rudd-Moncur band.Wish there were more recordings from them!

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