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Archie Shepp's Rain Forest

Archie Shepp

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Album Review

Some brilliant moments and some uncertain, tentative sections on this late-'60s work by tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, recorded in Europe. He was working with The New York Contemporary Five, a band that didn't stay together long due to having absolutely no commercial future. The songs were played with fire and intensity. Besides Shepp, trumpeter Don Cherry and alto saxophonist John Tchicai were outstanding.


Born: 24 May 1937 in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Archie Shepp has been at various times a feared firebrand and radical, soulful throwback and contemplative veteran. He was viewed in the '60s as perhaps the most articulate and disturbing member of the free generation, a published playwright willing to speak on the record in unsparing, explicit fashion about social injustice and the anger and rage he felt. His tenor sax solos were searing, harsh, and unrelenting, played with a vivid intensity. But in the '70s, Shepp employed a fatback/swing-based...
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