Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A real gem from the great Archie Shepp – an overlooked treasure from his years as a straight jazz musician – a time we come to appreciate more and more as the years go by! The Shepp heard here is one who's still got all the raw tone and bite of the old days, but also finds a way to swing things on a set of familiar standards – so that he's cutting these great raspy lines out of tunes you might already know – but which are taking on a whole new life in the process.
In their series of Jazz greats, TDK release on DVD the first part of a jazz night in Torino in 1977 with famed sax player Archie Shepp and his Quartet. Archie Shepp was much discussed among jazz fans during the 1970s as it was becoming increasingly clear that a profound change was taking place in his approach to music and even his physical appearance. For years he had been the embodiment of black resistance, dressing in traditional African garments and protesting against the suppression of black people. But now he was wearing suits and had given up his free style of playing in favour of interpretations of known pieces from the jazz tradition. Inevitably, the changes upset some people and pleased others. But Shepp never made it easy to judge him, and ignoring the talk he went ahead on his straight path, which had already led him to a place among the jazz greats while he was still a young man.
"Serious collectors and devoted Sheppherds only…" By 1985 Archie Shepp's tone on tenor had declined quite a bit from just a few years earlier. This should have been a strong set for the sidemen (trumpeter Enrico Rava, keyboardist Siegfried Kessler, bassist Wilbur Little and drummer Clifford Jarvis) are excellent and the repertoire is both diverse and challenging. However Shepp fouls up "Naima" by playing his out-of-tune soprano, talks and sings on the 18-minute "Little Red Moon" more than he plays tenor and his sax sounds quite sloppy on "Whisper Not" and "Sweet Georgia Brown." Despite some good moments from the supporting cast, this is one to skip.
There must have been something in the air in January, 1993. Lars-Olof Gustavsson, who had released Charles Gayle's first recordings on his label Silkheart in 1988, had contacted Gayle with the interest of doing a new session with him and a double rhythm section. Gayle pared the concept down to two basses and one drummer and selected the players - William Parker, Vattell Cherry and Michael Wemberly. Those sessions resulted in five hours of tape and two CDs, Translations and Raining Fire. Years later and after some negotiation, Gustvasson has returned to the masters again, culling a third release from the tapes.