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Archie Shepp – Let My People Go (2021 24/48 FLAC)

Archie Shepp - Let My People Go (2021 24/48 FLAC)

Archie Shepp – Let My People Go (2021 24/48 FLAC)

Artist: Archie Shepp
Album: Let My People Go
Release/Reissue: 2021
Genre: Contemporary Jazz

01. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
02. Isfahan
03. He Cares
04. Go Down Moses
05. Wise One
06. Lush Life
07. Round Midnight
08. Ain’t Misbehavin’
09. Jitterbug Waltz
10. Ujama
11. Slow Drag
12. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Edit)

Among the many facets of Archie Shepp’s distinguished career, it is notable that since his solo debut in 1964, he has been gigging and recording at a near-constant pace. For an 83-year-old saxophone player specializing in provocative and boundary-challenging improvisation, this is impressive enough, but that Shepp’s creative, intellectual, and political fire has in 50-plus years remained undimmed, well, that is remarkable indeed. Throughout those years, Shepp has always been an enthusiastic collaborator, working extensively with Cecil Taylor and Don Cherry, as well as more occasional meetings with the likes of Mal Waldron, Max Roach, and Horace Parlan, and cross-genre explorations with Frank Zappa, Material, and others. He is a player whose confidence in his style and musical language allows him to not only share a spotlight, but also to seek out co-conspirators to broaden his sonic palette. In the 21st century, Shepp’s recording pace has not slowed, but his interest in collaborations seems to have accelerated; more than half of his releases over the last two decades have seen him partnered up. This album, the latest such release, finds him working with Jason Moran, whose modernist, New York-centric take on post-bop has made him one of the most critically acclaimed jazz pianists of the last 20 years. Moran’s musical vocabulary is as broad and deep as Shepp’s, and the two also clearly share an intellectual and ideological affinity when it comes to creative and cultural work. So it is both somewhat surprising and completely on-brand that on their debut duet album, the two aim straight for the songbook, taking on a clutch of standards that have often been handled competently, if not interestingly, in lesser hands. With these two, pieces like “Lush Life” easily unshackle themselves from decades of overplay and sound reinvigorated. The easy, restrained interplay between the enormous tone of Shepp’s saxophone and Moran’s melodic and exploratory piano finds the two charting their own courses through these pieces, and when Shepp starts singing on “Go Down Moses” and “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child,” an entirely new dimension is added. It would have been quite easy for Shepp and Moran to romp through well-trod pieces like “Round Midnight” with gleeful abandon, but instead, they take a more focused and politically interrogatory approach to the material, resulting in an intelligent, emotional, evocative,and, yes, another remarkable addition to Shepp’s voluminous discography.

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