Archie Shepp – Blasé (1969)

Recorded, August 16, 1969, Paris.

As the ’60s drew to a close in a hail of blood and lead, jazz gradually began to close its doors. What had blossomed in the ’50s and ’60s as young men struggled to raise a music out of the whorehouses of New Orleans and into the concert halls turned into something less and more than it had been. Musicians like Archie Shepp no longer looked to the future or to what they might borrow from classical forms. Instead, they looked back to the cotton fields, the slave market, and the slum to find their voice. The music took an angry turn, emphatically stating, “This is our music.” Stunned by the assassinations of Martin and Malcolm, many young musicians turned from a country and a culture they thought had betrayed them. Archie Shepp went to Paris. There, in the summer of 1969, he cut these albums, each a classic in its own right, each a milestone in an under-appreciated career. Blasé looks back to the blues, soaked in harmonica and the brooding duet of Shepp’s throaty tenor and Jeanne Lee’s magnificent, pensive voice. [source]

Archie Shepp – tenor saxophone / Jeanne Lee – vocal / Lester Bowie – trumpet, fluegelhorn / Chicago Beau – harmonica  / Julio Finn – harmonica /Dave Burrell – piano / Malachi Favors – bass / Philly Joe Jones – drums

 

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