Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Archie Shepp ‎- Blasé

During the late sixties and early seventies, saxophonist Archie Sheep released a number of records on the French label BYG Records. These recordings, which were recorded after Shepp relocated to Paris, tended to have a more free sound in comparison to some of the material that was featured on his Impulse releases. One of my favorite recordings that the saxophonist released on BYG is his 1969 album Blasé. This record finds Shepp exploring his blues roots in a more avant-garde and dark tone, that at also speaks to hopeful message through vocalist Jeanne Lee. The record also features Art Ensemble of Chicago alums Lester Bowie (trumpet) and Malachi Favors (bass), as well as Philly Joe Jones on drums, Dave Burrell on piano, with Chicago Beau and Julio Finn playing harmonica on a few selections. Overall, Blasé is another powerful release from Shepp, who often used his music to speak to the inequalities that African-Americans were dealing with at that time. Enjoy!

Archie Shepp ‎- Blasé


andujar said...

Blasé is one of my all time favorite albums. Some blues, some gospel (great reading of "Balm in Gilead") and some Ellington. Jeanne Lee is a major element to the group.
I love this whole run of Shepp's, roughly 68-70. There was such a loose interpretation of all his influences from African roots to funk to free-blues to gospel, as well as the poetry. The Magic Of Juju, Black Gypsy, For Losers, and of course the Actuels. Just killer music!
Shepp had a more positive outlook on things during those revolutionary times than he has later on. He told me that when he was in Algeria around this time that he described a feeling of anything being possible. Now, he describes the world as "bleak". Can't say I disagree!
Bleak or not, there's always great music. Thanks for sharing. I'm a Shepp fanatic.

Pat Les Stache said...

Thanks for the insight Andjur! I agree that Archie Shepp was the master of incorporating African roots, blues, gospel, spiritualism and free jazz into his music during the late sixties and seventies. Sad to hear he feels so "bleak" for the future of the world. Even though I'm a bit more hopeful, I certainly can't blame him for his feelings.

Thanks again!

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