|Birth name||Archie Shepp|
|Born||May 24, 1937|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
|Genres||Jazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, educator|
|Instruments||Tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, piano, vocals|
|Labels||Impulse!, SteepleChase, Denon, BYG Actuel, Marge|
|Associated acts||Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Horace Parlan|
Archie Shepp (born May 24, 1937) is an American jazz saxophonist, educator and playwright who since the 1960s has played a central part in the development of avant-garde jazz.
Shepp was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied piano, clarinet, and alto saxophone before focusing on tenor saxophone. He occasionally plays soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, and piano. He studied drama at Goddard College from 1955 to 1959.
He played in a Latin jazz band for a short time before joining the band of avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor. Shepp's first recording under his own name, Archie Shepp - Bill Dixon Quartet , was released on Savoy Records in 1962 and featured a composition by Ornette Coleman.Along with John Tchicai and Don Cherry, he was a member of the New York Contemporary Five. John Coltrane's admiration led to recordings for Impulse! Records, the first of which was Four for Trane in 1964, an album of mainly Coltrane compositions on which he was joined by alto player John Tchicai, trombonist Roswell Rudd, flugelhorn player Alan Shorter, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Charles Moffett.
Shepp participated in the sessions for Coltrane's A Love Supreme in late 1964, but none of the takes he participated in were included on the final LP release (they were made available for the first time on a 2002 reissue).However, Shepp, along with Tchicai and others from the Four for Trane sessions, then recorded Ascension with Coltrane in 1965, and his place alongside Coltrane at the forefront of the avant-garde jazz scene was epitomized when the pair split a record (the first side a Coltrane set, the second a Shepp set) entitled New Thing at Newport released in late 1965.
In 1965, Shepp released Fire Music , which included the first signs of his developing political consciousness and his increasingly Afrocentric orientation. The album took its title from a ceremonial African music tradition and included a reading of an elegy for Malcolm X.Shepp's 1967 The Magic of Ju-Ju also took its name from African musical traditions, and the music was strongly rooted in African music, featuring an African percussion ensemble. At this time, many African-American jazzmen were increasingly influenced by various continental African cultural and musical traditions; along with Pharoah Sanders, Shepp was at the forefront of this movement. The Magic of Ju-Ju defined Shepp's sound for the next few years: freeform avant-garde saxophone lines coupled with rhythms and cultural concepts from Africa.
Shepp was invited to perform in Algiers for the 1969 Pan-African Cultural Festivalof the Organization for African Unity, along with Dave Burrell, Sunny Murray, and Clifford Thornton. This ensemble then recorded several sessions in Paris at the BYG Actuel studios.
Shepp continued to experiment into the new decade, at various times including harmonica players and spoken word poets in his ensembles. With 1972's Attica Blues and The Cry of My People , he spoke out for civil rights; the former album was a response to the Attica Prison riots.Shepp also writes for theater; his works include The Communist (1965) and Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy (1972). Both were produced by Robert Kalfin at the Chelsea Theater Center.
In 1971, Shepp was recruited to the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Randolph Bromery,beginning a 30-year career as a professor of music. Shepp's first two courses were entitled "Revolutionary Concepts in African-American Music" and "Black Musician in the Theater". Shepp was also a professor of African-American Studies at SUNY in Buffalo, New York.
In the late 1970s and beyond, Shepp's career went between various old territories and various new ones. He continued to explore African music, while also recording blues, ballads, spirituals (on the 1977 album Goin' Home with Horace Parlan) and tributes to more traditional jazz figures such as Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet, while at other times dabbling in R&B, and recording with various European artists including Jasper van't Hof, Tchangodei and Dresch Mihály.
Shepp is featured in the 1981 documentary film Imagine the Sound , in which he discusses and performs his music and poetry. Shepp also appears in Mystery, Mr. Ra, a 1984 French documentary about Sun Ra. The film also includes footage of Shepp playing with Sun Ra's Arkestra.
Since the early 1990s, he has often played with the French trumpeter Eric Le Lann. In 1993, he worked with Michel Herr to create the original score for the film Just Friends .
In 2002, Shepp appeared on the Red Hot Organization's tribute album to Fela Kuti, Red Hot and Riot . Shepp appeared on a track entitled "No Agreement" alongside Res, Tony Allen, Ray Lema, Baaba Maal, and Positive Black Soul. In 2004 Archie Shepp founded his own record label, Archieball, together with Monette Berthomier. The label is located in Paris, France, and includes collaborations with Jacques Coursil, Monica Passos, Bernard Lubat, and Frank Cassenti.
John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes and was one of the players at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions and appeared on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Over the course of his career, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension, as exemplified on his most acclaimed albums A Love Supreme (1965) and Ascension (1966). He remains the most influential saxophonist in music history and has received numerous posthumous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, and was canonized by the African Orthodox Church. His second wife was pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane. The couple had three children: John Jr. (1964–1982), a bassist; Ravi, a saxophonist; and Oran, a saxophonist, guitarist, drummer and singer.
John Martin Tchicai was a Danish free jazz saxophonist and composer.
Reginald "Reggie" Workman is an American avant-garde jazz and hard bop double bassist, recognized for his work with both John Coltrane and Art Blakey.
Marion Brown was an American jazz alto saxophonist, composer, writer, visual artist, and ethnomusicologist. He was a member of the avant-garde jazz scene in New York City during the 1960s, playing alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and John Tchicai. He performed on Coltrane's landmark 1965 album Ascension. AllMusic reviewer Scott Yanow described him as "one of the brightest and most lyrical voices of the 1960s avant-garde."
Ascension is a jazz album by John Coltrane recorded in June 1965 and released in 1966. It is considered a watershed in Coltrane's work, with the albums recorded before it being more conventional in structure and the albums recorded after it being looser, free jazz inspired works. In addition, it signaled Coltrane's interest in moving away from the quartet format. AllMusic called it "the single recording that placed John Coltrane firmly into the avant-garde".
Coltrane "Live" at the Village Vanguard is a live album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released in February 1962 on Impulse Records. It is the first album to feature the members of the classic quartet of Coltrane with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones, as well as the first Coltrane live album to be issued. In contrast to his previous album for Impulse!, this one generated much turmoil among both critics and audience alike with its challenging music.
The Major Works of John Coltrane is a compilation album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released in 1992 by GRP Records. It features extended compositions, all recorded in 1965 with expanded ensembles, and originally released by Impulse! Records on Ascension, Om, Kulu Sé Mama, and Selflessness: Featuring My Favorite Things. Both editions of Ascension are included.
Attica Blues is an album by avant-garde jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp. Originally released in 1972 on the Impulse! label, the album title refers to the Attica Prison riots.
Clifford Edward Thornton III was an American jazz trumpeter, trombonist, activist, and educator. He played free jazz and avant-garde jazz in the 1960s and '70s.
Calvin "Cal" Massey was an American jazz trumpeter and composer.
Goin' Home is a studio album by American saxophonist Archie Shepp and pianist Horace Parlan. After their work in the 1960s, Shepp and Parlan both faced career challenges as the jazz scene diverged stylistically. They left the United States for Europe during the 1970s and met each other in Denmark before recording the album on April 25, 1977, at Sweet Silence Studio in Copenhagen.
The New York Contemporary Five was an avant-garde jazz ensemble active from the summer of 1963 to the spring of 1964. It has been described as "a particularly noteworthy group during its year of existence -- a pioneering avant-garde combo" and "a group which, despite its... short lease on life, has considerable historical significance." Author Bill Shoemaker wrote that the NYCF was "one of the more consequential ensembles of the early 1960s." John Garratt described them as "a meteor that streaked by too fast."
Four for Trane is a studio album by Archie Shepp released on Impulse! Records in 1964. Four of the five tracks are reworkings of pieces originally recorded on John Coltrane's 1960 Giant Steps and Coltrane Plays the Blues, rearranged by Shepp and Roswell Rudd. Coltrane himself co-produced the album alongside Bob Thiele. The album was Shepp's first release for Impulse!, and would be followed by more than a dozen additional releases on the label.
Yasmina, a Black Woman is a jazz album by Archie Shepp, recorded in 1969 in Paris for BYG Actuel. It features musicians from the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The first track, giving its title to the album, is a long free jazz piece by an 11-piece orchestra; in it, the references to Africa that Shepp had experimented with only a few weeks earlier in Algiers are to be found in the use of African percussion instruments, or the African incantations sung by Shepp himself at the beginning of the track. The other two pieces, a homage to Sonny Rollins written by trombonist Grachan Moncur III and a standard, played by a more traditional quintet and quartet respectively, are more reminiscent of the hard bop genre, although the fiery playing of the musicians, notably Shepp himself, gives them a definite avant-garde edge. It was originally issued on CD by Affinity, mastered from an incredibly noisy vinyl source and later reissued by Charly from the original master tapes.
Archie Shepp & the New York Contemporary Five is a live album by the New York Contemporary Five recorded at the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 15, 1963, and featuring saxophonists Archie Shepp and John Tchicai, trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Don Moore and drummer J. C. Moses. The album was originally released on the Sonet label in 1964 as New York Contemporary 5 in two separate volumes on LP and later as an edited concert on a single CD, removing the track "Cisum."
Bill Dixon 7-tette/Archie Shepp and the New York Contemporary 5 is an album released on the Savoy label originally featuring one LP side by Bill Dixon's septet and one LP side by the New York Contemporary Five featuring saxophonist Archie Shepp. The album resulted from Dixon and Shepp's contractual obligations to provide Savoy Records with a second album after the Archie Shepp - Bill Dixon Quartet (1962) but following a professional separation.
Three for Shepp is an album by American saxophonist Marion Brown featuring performances recorded in 1966 for the Impulse! label.
The October Revolution in Jazz was a four-day festival of new jazz music which took place at the Cellar Café in New York City. It occurred from October 1–4, 1964, and was organized by composer and trumpeter Bill Dixon. The success of the festival was directly responsible for the formation of the Jazz Composers Guild.
The New Wave in Jazz is a live album recorded on March 28, 1965 at the Village Gate in New York City. It features groups led by major avant-garde jazz artists performing at a concert for the benefit of The Black Arts Repertory Theater/School founded by Amiri Baraka, then known as LeRoi Jones. The album was released on LP in 1965 on the Impulse! label, and was reissued on CD in 1994 with a different track listing.
Sunshine is an album by American free jazz drummer Sunny Murray, his third as a leader. It was recorded in Paris in August 1969, and released on the BYG Actuel label later that year. On the album, Murray is joined by Arthur Jones and Roscoe Mitchell on alto saxophone, Archie Shepp and Kenneth Terroade on tenor saxophone, Lester Bowie on trumpet, Dave Burrell on piano, and Malachi Favors and Alan Silva on bass.
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