Essential: a masterpiece of psychedelic-rock music
This aptly titled album is really exactly that: the crown of their creation. And the artwork is simply a good explanation of what this music can do to your mind. Actually all these compliments I throw at the airplane are always better than the rockets fired at those flying Nam at the time. Because no doubt about it, JA were depicting sarcastically what some (obviously those that detested JA) considered the crown of human creation: the a-Bomb. And this sombre (in theme because this bright coloured photo is anything but dark) artwork is also a bit appropriate to describe the apocalyptically stunning beauty of the album’s content.
The historic meeting of two truly influential and individual composers, arrangers, and instrumentalists on The Long March. The album appeared in 1979 on Swiss label Hat Hut. This date pairs Max Roach and Archie Shepp playing both solo and as a duo for one night in 1979 at the Willisau Jazz Festival. Roach's truly astonishing solo "J.C. Moses" is a tribute to Detroit jazz great J.C. Heard. The kinds of rimshots, trap stops and starts, and continuous rolling thunder take the breath away and make the listener wonder if this is really only one drummer. Next up is Shepp's solo tenor reading of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," where he coaxes all the ballad's idiosyncrasies and fluidly combines them with his new jazz flourishes, without once disrespecting the integrity of the original.