Archie Shepp (ts) Tommy Turrentine (t) Grachan Moncur III (trmb) Roswell Rudd (trmb) Howard Johnson (tuba) Perry Robinson (clar) Charlie Haden (b) Beaver Harris (d) All star cast in addition to Shepp’s regular band, recorded 1966.
All Music Review : “lots of free blowing, angry bursts of energy, and shouts of pure revelry are balanced with Ellingtonian elegance and restraint that was considerable enough to let the lyric line float through and encourage more improvisation. This is Shepp at his level best”
I am not a big fan of Archie Shepp, though he has his following. The selected track Theme for Ernie is to my ear the most accessible. I can hear the Ellingtonian references and can say honestly I like it. But if I put on Side One my better half asks if she should call out the plumber as the boiler is making noises. Mama Too Tight sounds to me like a bad night at a disco, while the Portrait of Robert Thompson (as a young man) would have any doting mother hide this portrait in her attic, so I guess I still have some way to go.
SIPL 508 UK first pressing, Black and Silver Impulse. I think that’s a “1” in the run-out. Sound is fresh and clear and the stereo an advantage given the strong musical texture. For some reason a previous owner felt compelled to underline the performers names in red, rather than the usual DJ signature annotation, of time and bpm. Great cover though.
Ebay price in single figures, after including the postage, and some change. Not one on the Russian Federation collectors list, I guess they don’t do “free” in Russia. I can hear them in Moscow: “Vladimir darlink, I think the plumbing needs fixing!”. For me, a record to bring out every now and then to check your hearing. Finding some jazz becoming increasingly too light and fluffy is a sure sign that you are moving towards something more demanding. Signposted “Free”.