20 January 2007

ARCHIE SHEPP - FOR LOSERS





















New thing collides with funky r&b on this 1969 release by Mr.Shepp for Impulse.
Here's a great review from Craig over at the excellent Daily Jazz Blogspot:

"This 1971 release brings together material from three sessions spread across 1968-9 featuring three different bands. After the full-on sonic assault of the previous years' 'Pitchin Can' and 'Coral Rock' I can imagine Shepp fans picking this one up and saying "Woah! What's all this about?". For while there is free jazz here, it's hidden beneath an accessible surface that takes the form of funky soul-jazz ('Stick 'em Up', 'Abstract'), sweet balladry ('I Got It Bad', 'What Would It Be...') and a Yasmina style funky freak-out.
'Stick 'em Up' stands out as being unlike anything else in Shepp's discography. Over a funky backbeat worthy of James Brown, Leon Thomas provides a R&B vocal (unlike anything else I've heard him do, either) and the band play tight, well arranged parts. Archie pops up with short solos all over the place, applying his abrasive tone to straightahead material where it actually fits quite well. 'Abstract' is almost, but not quite, more of the same - while it's still tight and funky there's more of a jazz feel in the solos and overall structure of the piece. In fact, it's very much in a soul-jazz style, and would fit nicely on a Cannonball Adderley LP were it not for the unhinged soloing of Shepp.
The ballads provide a nice change of pace and another early example of Shepp playing it sweet, something he would do more and more throughout the 1970s. 'I Got It Bad', in particular, has nary a challenging harmony in sight - unthinkable for a Shepp recording of the period! 'Normal' service is resumed with the closing 'Un Croque Monsieur'. Shepp sets up an insistent, funky theme counterpointed nicely by Payne's baritone (note - this theme was lifted, in it's entirety, and used to great effect in Stereolab's 'Outer Bongolia' from 2000's 'First Of The Microbe Hunters' mini-LP. Not jazz in the slightest, but still worth a listen). Once he's set it up, Shepp wanders off on soprano and explores every possibility that the theme suggests, as well as a few more besides. Chambers sounds increasingly dissastisfied with this and around the 7-minute mark leads the group into a collective free-improvisation that'll have the hardcore Shepp fans feeling right at home. This fades into the 'For Losers' poem, but is rescued by Walton's huge piano riff that drives the band through the remaining choruses."

On 'Un Croque Monsieur', 'I Got It Bad', 'What Would It Be Without You' (26.08.1969)
ARCHIE SHEPP; tenor sax, soprano sax WOODY SHAW; trumpet MATTHEW GEE; trombone CLARENCE SHARPE; alto sax CECIL PAYNE; baritone sax CEDAR WALTON; piano
WILBUR WARE; bass JOE CHAMBERS; drums CHINA-LIN SHARPE; vocals
On 'Stick 'em Up' (09.09.1968)
ARCHIE SHEPP; tenor sax MARTIN BANKS; trumpet & flugelhorn GRACHAN MONCUR III;trombone MARTIN KENYATTA; alto sax ANDREW BEY; piano ALBERT WINSTON; fender bass
BERT PAYNE; guitar BEAVER HARRIS; drums LEON THOMAS; vocals DORIS TROY; vocals
TASHA THOMAS; vocals
On 'Abstract' (17.02.1969)
ARCHIE SHEPP; tenor sax JIMMY OWENS; trumpet & flugelhorn GRACHAN MONCUR III; trombone JAMES SPAULDING; alto sax CHARLES DAVIS; baritone sax DAVE BURRELL; organ
WALLY RICHARDSON; guitar BOB BUSHNELL; fender bass BERNARD PURDIE; drums

The album made a reissue in Japan on cd but otherwise it's an original if you want one.
This post is ripped from the original Impulse vinyl at 320.

9 comments:

Richard said...

Very good. I'd forgotten about this one - used to have the lp many years ago.

dell said...

yeah, i forgot about this joint too. good lookin out. youve been killin em softly.

s o l e p o w e r said...

hey bacoso,

Since I liked the album som uch and the face that it has been deleted from the eervers i have re-upped Gary Bartz's The Shadow Do.

Its here
http://rapidshare.com/files/12488485/GARY_BARTZ_-_THE_SHADOW_DO.rar


powerofsoul.blogspot.com

atanase said...

great great post! many thanks for that. i have never hear this record before.

mikail said...

Always interesting to hear Leon Thomas in a different context.

dgram said...

Great album! I hadn't heard it before, but it quickly jumps up there with The Magic of Juju as one of my favorite of Shepp's!

I also wanted to thank you in general for the incredible music you offer us on this site. I only discovered it a week or so earlier, but I've already downloaded Joe Henderson, Mark Weinstein, Montego Joe, Gene Shaw, and Som Tres.

Any chance of a reupload of The Har-You Percussion Group? It was gone before I had a chance at it. Latin funk is new-ish to me, but quickly becoming irresistable. I got the Dee Felice Trio album from Alma Matters (http://www.rapidsafe.net/rc-EzNhZjY4QTM/deefelice.rar), which also qualifies as a new favorite of the genre.

Any other recommendations along these lines? So far, your word has been golden.

Brandon said...

onomat@gmail.com

peskypesky said...

no link?

can you please please please re-up this one?

Tod said...

I found a source:
http://www.mediafire.com/?wy00xmgnloy
Don't know if this is up to the quality of our Blog Maestro Bacoso but I really wanted to hear this. I have some Shepp on Impulse but this I hadn't heard. Also, the Bartz link from powerofsoul is dead, haven't found that yet.
Bacoso, you are a vinyl god!