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Archie Shepp:
Phat Jam in Milano

Dig/Ill biz/Kashmir/Life we chose/Revolution/Casket/Ill biz (Radio edit)

Archie Shepp (voc, sax), Hamid Drake (dr), Joe Fonda (b), Cochemea Gastelum (sax), Oliver Lake (sax), Napoleon Maddox (voc, bb)

Recorded live in November 2007



Veteran jazz musicians have been trying to kick-start their careers by working with hip-hop artists for a long time – but Archie Shepp, the 71-year-old saxophonist, activist, playwright and former actor, has been making politicised vocal music expounding on African-American history a key part of his jazz conception since the 1960s. This live set from Milan’s Aperitivo festival in 2007 finds Shepp and a fine band with strong free-jazz roots alongside Cincinnati rapper and beat boxer Napoleon Maddox. Maddox’s vocal repertoire of cymbal hisses, resonant thuds and motorbike reverberations mesh well with Drake’s superb drumming, and Shepp’s characterful mix of bent-note multiphonics and battered old-time swing rolls on amid the melee. Shepp’s classic part-lectured, part-howled Revolution incantation (updated post-Iraq) and Maddox’s tirade on the war/oil/drugs ownership of American capital establish the agenda.

Quelle: Fordham, John (2009): (12.04.2010)
(Abdruck mit freundlicher Genehmigung)