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Archie Shepp - A Sea Of Faces (1975)



No to teraz dalszy ciąg seciku jazzowego:

Archie Shepp - ozdoba największych festiwali. Jazzowy gigant. Nowator zanurzony w tradycji. Artysta wszechstronny, owiany legendą. Saksofonista, kompozytor, publicysta, poeta, dramaturg, wykładowca muzyki i literatury.

W latach 60 grał awangardowy jazz z koryfeuszami tego gatunku: Cecilem Taylorem, Donem Cherry, Johnem Coltrane'm. Zawsze trafia w gusta szerokiej publiczności. W swojej muzyce, pamięta o starych korzeniach jazzu- rhytm and bluesie, bluesie. Artysta zaskakujący twórczymi pomysłami i możliwościami. Każdy jego koncert jest wydarzeniem artystycznym.

Już w czasie studiów (literatury i dramatu) w Goddard College grał na różnych instrumentach, m.in. na saksofonie. Fascynowała go gra i stylistyka jazzu Johna Coltrane'a. Początkowo koncertował (jako klarnecista) z różnymi zespołami tanecznymi, później (już jako saksofonista tenorowy) z grupami rhythm and bluesowymi. Kiedy zamieszkał w Nowym Jorku próbował znaleźć pracę jako aktor, grał w zespołach latynoskich. Na początku lat 60. grał w zespołach koryfeuszy awangardowego jazzu: Cecilem Taylorem , Billem Dixonem , Donem Cherrym i Johnem Tchicai. Razem z Cherrym i Tchicai został współliderem grupy The New York Contemporary Five - jednej z najważniejszych formacji nowoczesnego jazzu. Był założycielem własnych zespołów, z udziałem m.in.: Roswella Rudda, Bobby'ego Hutchersona i Grachana Moncura III.

Zainteresowania jazzem improwizowanym, strukturami free oraz kulturą afro-amerykańską spowodowały wyraźne, muzyczne odniesienia w twórczości Sheppa. Rozpoczął studia uniwersyteckie, rozwinął współpracę z podobnie podchodzącymi do afro-jazzu muzykami. Takie pojmowanie jazzu doprowadziło go w krąg muzycznych fascynacji Johna Coltrane'a. W 1965 roku wziął udział w Newport Jazz Festival i wystawił swa sztukę "Juneburg Graduates Tonight ". Chociaż w latach 60. był ściśle związany z ruchem free - jazzowym, czerpał z muzycznych korzeni jazzu, włączając elementy wcześniejszych form jazzu i bluesa. W latach 60 koncertował, nagrywał, zajmował się pisaniem muzyki, sztuk teatralnych, z których wiele odzwierciedlało jego przekonania polityczne i troskę o prawa człowieka. Był wykładowcą na University of Massachusetts.

Przez kolejnych dziesięć lat Shepp wzbogacał swój repertuar, wcielając do niego elementy rhythm and bluesa, rocka, bluesa i be-bopu. Niektóre nagrania dokonane w końcu lat 70. i na początku 80. dają wyobrażenie o skali jego zainteresowań. Wśród nich albumy w duecie z Maxem Roachem, zestawy pieśni spiritual i bluesa z Horace'em Parlanem oraz płyty nagrane w hołdzie Charliemu Parkerowi i Sidneyowi Bechetowi.

Dziś artysta postrzegany jest jako gigant jazzu, wszechstronny artysta, którego nie można jednoznacznie sklasyfikować. Artysta, grający jazz z najwyższej półki, który trafia w gusta szerokiej publiczności.

Cameron Brown - bass
Beaver Harris - drums
Bunny Foy - maracas
Dave Burrell - piano
Archie Shepp - sax, piano, vocal
Charles Greenlee - trombone

Archie Shepp is an American jazz saxophonist. Shepp was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 24, 1937, but raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he studied piano, clarinet and alto saxophone before focusing on tenor saxophone (he occasionally plays soprano saxophone). He is best known for his passionately Afrocentric music of the late sixties which focused on highlighting the injustices faced by the African race, as well as for his work with the New York Contemporary Five and his collaborations with his "New Thing" contemporaries, most notably Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane.

Shepp studied drama at Goddard College from 1955 to 1959, but after a lack of success in securing acting jobs after moving to New York, he turned to music professionally. He played in a Latin jazz band for a short time before joining the band of avantgarde pianist Cecil Taylor, who at that time was just beginning to blossom from merely a very eccentric Thelonious Monk-influenced young upstart into one of the most important and controversial figures of the 1960s avantgarde. Shepp appeared on Air, The World Of Cecil Taylor and Cell Walk For Celeste, all of which remain defining Taylor recordings. His first notable forays into recording under his own name came with the New York Contemporary Five band, which included Don Cherry. John Coltrane's admiration led to recordings for Impulse!, the first of which was Four for Trane, on which he was sided by his long-time friend, trombonist Roswell Rudd. Shepp participated in the sessions for Coltrane's A Love Supreme in early 1965 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 then cut the massively influential and extremely avantgarde Ascension with Coltrane in 1965, and his place alongside Trane at the forefront of the avantgarde 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. Some critics felt Shepp was rather too heavily influenced by Coltrane, though Trane's influence at the time was so vast that nearly every saxophonist who was attaining stardom at the time was on the receiving end of this criticism at one point in their careers (most notably Wayne Shorter).

1965 also saw the release of the Fire Music LP which included the first signs of Shepp's increasingly prominent Afrocentricity: it included the reading of an elegy for Malcolm X, and the title is derived from a ceremonial African music tradition. It also saw Shepp pushing the boundaries of jazz but remaining somewhat tethered to bebop traditions, as the saxophonist performed bizarre readings of standards "Prelude To A Kiss" and "The Girl From Ipanema". The Magic Of Ju-Ju in 1967 also took its name from African musical traditions and this time the music too dived headlong into the continent's music itself, utilising a frenetic African percussion ensemble. At this time, many African-American jazzmen were becoming increasingly aware of Afrocentrism and the musical traditions of the African continent; along with Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp was at the forefront of this movement. The Magic Of Ju-Ju defined Shepp's sound for the next few years - seemingly chaotic avantgarde sax lines coupled with the rhythms and ideologies of Africa. Shepp continued to experiment into the new decade, at various times including harmonica players and spoken word poets in his ensembles. Attica Blues and The Cry Of My People, meanwhile, from 1972 were Shepp's angriest statements of black freedom yet.

In the late 1970s and beyond, Shepp's career zigzagged between various old territories and various new territories. He continued to explore the music of Africa, while also recording tributes to more traditional jazz figures like Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet, dabbling in R&B, and recording with various European artists like Jasper Van't Hof and Dresch Mihály. Since the early nineties he often plays with the French trumpet player Eric Le Lann with whom he recorded the album Live in Paris in 1995.

Shepp has also returned to his first love, drama, at various times in his career - his works include The Communist (1965) and Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy (1972). From the 1970s to the early 2000s Archie Shepp was a professor in the African-American Studies department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught both music and music history. (wikipedia)

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