From 1964, Archie Shepp's first date as a leader featured – as one would expect from the title – four tunes by John Coltrane, his mentor, his major influence, and his bandleader. The fact that this album holds up better than almost any of Shepp's records nearly 40 years after the fact has plenty to do with the band he chose for this session, and everything to do with the arranging skills of trombonist Roswell Rudd. The band here is Shepp on tenor, John Tchicai on alto, Rudd on trombone, Trane's bassist Reggie Workman, and Ornette Coleman's drummer Charles Moffett. Even in 1964, this was a powerhouse, beginning with a bluesed-out wailing version of "Syeeda's Song Flute." This version is ingenious, with Shepp allowing Rudd to arrange for solos for himself and Tchicai up front and Rudd punching in the blues and gospel in the middle, before giving way to double time by Workman and Moffett. The rawness of the whole thing is so down-home you're ready to tell someone to pass the butter beans when listening.
While it's true this set has been given the highest rating AMG awards, it comes with a qualifier: the rating is for the music and the package, not necessarily the presentation. Presentation is a compiler's nightmare in the case of artists like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, who recorded often and at different times and had most of their recordings issued from the wealth of material available at the time a record was needed rather than culling an album from a particular session.
This book focuses on a selection of 126 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures from the Museum’s collection. It begins with the work of Johan Barthold Jongkind and Eugfcne Boudin, two painters who, in the early 1860s, exerted a strong influence on many of the young artists…
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Charles McPherson delves into a number of standards in this collection of timeless ballads, well accompanied by pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist David Williams, and drummer Leroy Williams. The alto saxophonist's tone has a bit of a bluesy edge throughout the sessions, as if he is reminiscing about a past love. His heartfelt rendition of "My Ideal" stands out, as do his two interpretations of songs by Nicholas Brodszky, "Be My Love" and "Love Letters." McPherson picks up the tempo with "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," though his tone doesn't shift to a lighter mood. The relaxed mood makes this release perfect for late-night listening. The only drawback with this CD is the ugly cover photo, which McPherson denounced as very tasteless during a 2007 interview.