March 26, 2008 Playlist


"Fire Music" by Archie Shepp (1965)
Archie Shepp  "Fire Music"  1965 (USA)
Archie Shepp is my favorite saxman of all time, and he was just in Madison about a month ago headlining FreedomFest, so in preperation for next week's jazz-themed special it's time to add some brass to the CAOTW hall of fame!  A somewhat notorious radical and renaissance man (he also sings and does poetry and theatre), Shepp first rose to fame playing in the New York Contemporary Five with Ornette Coleman crony Don Cherry, and working as a sideman on Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane albums.  Archie's first two albums as a leader on the famous Impulse! modern jazz label in 1965 are my favorite of his records -- this one and the earlier Four For Trane, an album of John Coltrane covers featuring St. John himself on the cover, almost literally passing the torch to his protege.  These records are particularly notable because of the unique sextet lineup of a basic rhythm section (bass and drums) backing a four-horn front line (Archie on tenor sax, plus alto sax, trumpet and trombone) with no "chord" instruments (pianos or guitars), allowing the group to blow freely while maintaining complex harmonies.  The most famous track on Fire Music is probably Archie's rather weird cover of "The Girl From Ipanema", referenced in a Lester Bangs essay.
Here's a video clip of Archie Shepp back in the day blowing on his tune "U-Jaama", and here's one of his "revolutionary song poems", "Mama Rose".  Plus, here's a live clip of Archie from a 2007 jazz festival, playing with a French rapper!  (Apparently Mr. Shepp resides in France these days.)  And finally, a clip of Thomas "Fats" Waller, one of the coolest jazz cats of the pre-war years.
(N) = New Release


Artist Song Album Year (Label) Country
Funkadelic Comin' Round The Mountain Hardcore Jollies 1976 USA
BeBop Deluxe Shine (live) Live! In The Air Age 1977 UK
Jeff Beck Play With Me Wired 1976 UK
Steely Dan Green Earrings The Royal Scam 1976 USA
Average White Band Pick Up The Pieces AWB 1974 UK (Scotland)
Fats Waller The Joint Is Jumpin' The Indispensible Fats Waller vol. 5 & 6 1937 USA
Fats Waller Moppin' And Boppin' The Indispensible Fats Waller vol. 9 & 10 1943 USA
Fats Waller Yacht Club Swing The Indispensible Fats Waller vol. 7 & 8 1938 USA
Fats Waller Ain't Misbehavin' The Indispensible Fats Waller vol. 9 & 10 1943 USA
Eric Dolphy Jitterbug Waltz (Fats Waller) Conversations rec. 1963 USA
Rahsaan Roland Kirk From Bechet, Byas and Fats Rip Rig And Panic 1965 USA
Dr. John, The Night Tripper I Walk On Gilded Splinters Gris-Gris 1968 USA
Frank Zappa Waka/Jawaka Waka/Jawaka 1972 USA
Lou Donaldson Hot Dog Hot Dog 1969 USA
Archie Shepp Hambone Fire Music
1965 USA
Archie Shepp Syeeda's Song Flute (John Coltrane) Four For Trane 1964 USA
The Joanne Pow!ers Trio
Improvised Explosive Device Food For Thought (N) 2007 (Unofficial) USA
Masada (John Zorn) Hazor Volume 3: Gimel 1995 USA
Lunar Dunes Scissorbell From Above (N) 2007 (Lunar Dunes) UK
The Stark Reality Comrades The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop (Now CD reissue) 1970 USA
Purple Image What You Do To Me Purple Image 1970 USA
Betty Davis Game Is My Middle Name Betty Davis 1973 USA
The Skull Snaps It's A New Day Skull Snap 1973 USA
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