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Archie Shepp - Phat Jam in Milano

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Phat Jam in Milano

Archie Shepp

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Langue disponible : anglais

It had been quite some time in between releases for Archie Shepp, and this 2009 issue adds to his reputation as a musician who has always been known for mixing progressive modern jazz with spoken word. This live performance in Milano, Italy, at the Teatro Manzoni during the Festival Apertivo teams Shepp with a formidable band alongside fellow creative alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, drummer Hamid Drake, solid improvising bassist Joe Fonda, and rapper/poet Napoleon Maddox. The mutual respect between all of these artists is clear and present, as the group weaves in the outspoken music of the saxophonists with bold invention and pointed statements about current society and politics via Napoleon's wordplay. It's an engaging set of music that comes expected from the participants, but is consistently surprising in its depth and substance about recent events. If you remember Shepp's great story of "Mama Rose" from years past, "Revolution" will strike a similar chord as he talks about his grandma; slavery; a time with no instruments aside from bodies; and a trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco to Baghdad, looking for the sun amidst war. Maddox is quite the lithe linguist, speaking about "doing what you got to do" on the funky rap "Dig," and railing against the foibles of the George W. Bush administration's "illegal business controlling America" during the lengthy "Ill Biz." Lake and Shepp together push the harmonic envelope like few other sax tandems on the modal Latin jazz piece "Casket," while a third saxophonist, Cochemea Gastelum, joins in on occasion. For most listeners, a highly modified version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" will seem an odd inclusion, but the band pulls it off. The original plodding drum beat of John Bonham is replaced by a much faster funky rhythm as the horns chip and bark while the frantic, manic rapping of Maddox refers to letting life pass by too fast, enjoying the natural and spiritual, and saying "I live because I was once dead." As these players have certainly expressed their share of freedom through music, so they do once again with an upbeat fervor, timely themes, and the animated Maddox raising the level of this hybrid art form to new contemporary heights. In many ways, it's a triumphant return for the unflappable and ever evolving Archie Shepp. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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Phat Jam in Milano

Archie Shepp

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1
Dig (Coda sax: Sonny) [feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum]
00:05:38

Archie Shepp, Composer, Performer - Napoleon Maddox, Composer - Joe Fonda, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

2
Ill Biz (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum)
00:11:05

Archie Shepp, Performer - Napoleon Maddox, Composer - Claire Daly, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

3
Kashmir (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum)
00:11:36

Archie Shepp, Performer - John Bonham, Composer - Jimmy Page, Composer - Robert Plant, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

4
The Life We Chose (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum)
00:06:19

Archie Shepp, Performer - Fred Sargolini, Composer - Aaron Albano, Composer - Jack Walker, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

5
Revolution (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum)
00:13:27

Archie Shepp, Composer, Performer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

6
Casket (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum)
00:09:09

Archie Shepp, Performer - Matthew Anderson, Composer - Jack Walker, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

7
Ill Biz (feat. Olivier Lake, Hamid Drake, Cochemea Gastelum) (Radio Edit)
00:03:38

Archie Shepp, Performer - Napoleon Maddox, Composer - Claire Daly, Composer

2009 Dawn of Freedom

Descriptif de l'album

It had been quite some time in between releases for Archie Shepp, and this 2009 issue adds to his reputation as a musician who has always been known for mixing progressive modern jazz with spoken word. This live performance in Milano, Italy, at the Teatro Manzoni during the Festival Apertivo teams Shepp with a formidable band alongside fellow creative alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, drummer Hamid Drake, solid improvising bassist Joe Fonda, and rapper/poet Napoleon Maddox. The mutual respect between all of these artists is clear and present, as the group weaves in the outspoken music of the saxophonists with bold invention and pointed statements about current society and politics via Napoleon's wordplay. It's an engaging set of music that comes expected from the participants, but is consistently surprising in its depth and substance about recent events. If you remember Shepp's great story of "Mama Rose" from years past, "Revolution" will strike a similar chord as he talks about his grandma; slavery; a time with no instruments aside from bodies; and a trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco to Baghdad, looking for the sun amidst war. Maddox is quite the lithe linguist, speaking about "doing what you got to do" on the funky rap "Dig," and railing against the foibles of the George W. Bush administration's "illegal business controlling America" during the lengthy "Ill Biz." Lake and Shepp together push the harmonic envelope like few other sax tandems on the modal Latin jazz piece "Casket," while a third saxophonist, Cochemea Gastelum, joins in on occasion. For most listeners, a highly modified version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" will seem an odd inclusion, but the band pulls it off. The original plodding drum beat of John Bonham is replaced by a much faster funky rhythm as the horns chip and bark while the frantic, manic rapping of Maddox refers to letting life pass by too fast, enjoying the natural and spiritual, and saying "I live because I was once dead." As these players have certainly expressed their share of freedom through music, so they do once again with an upbeat fervor, timely themes, and the animated Maddox raising the level of this hybrid art form to new contemporary heights. In many ways, it's a triumphant return for the unflappable and ever evolving Archie Shepp. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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