Yasmina, A Black Woman
BYG Actuel 4
- Yasmina, A Black Woman
- Sonny’s Back
- Body and Soul
Clifford Thornton (cornet), Lester Bowie (trumpet), Arthur Jones (alto sax), Archie Shepp (tenor sax, voice), Roscoe Mitchell (bass sax), Dave Burrell (piano), Malachi Favors and Earl Freeman (basses), Philly Joe Jones (drums), Sunny Murray (drums), Art Taylor (rhythm logs), Laurence Deveraux (balafon)
Archie Shepp and Hank Mobley (tenor saxes), Dave Burrell (piano), Malachi Favors (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)
Archie Shepp (tenor sax), Dave Burrell (piano), Malachi Favors (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)
Archie Shepp was a very busy man in August 1969. He recorded 3 sessions for the French BYG label in that month, each only a few days apart – this one, a 14th August session which resulted in the album “Poem for Malcolm” and another on 16th August which led to “Blasé”. 1969 was a fertile time for free jazz, with many of it’s players decamping to
This particular session was the result of collaboration between Shepp’s current band and members of the Art Ensemble of
Side one is entirely taken up by the 20-minute plus “Yasmina”, an exercise in groove-based improvisation that both Shepp and the members of the Art Ensemble were to repeat later in their careers. This is one funky piece of free jazz – there’s a fair bit of blowing going on over the top, but the rhythm section keeps a solid groove going – a circular piano line anchoring the whole thing down whilst the soloists set off on their flights. The whole thing is pretty effective, with only the slightly shoddy audio quality letting it down.
On a different tack entirely, side two’s opener, “Sonny’s Back”, starts out in a pretty standard hard bop inspired vein, perhaps to accommodate Hank Mobley, heard here on tenor trading lines with Shepp. Despite the band taking the whole thing fairly straight (well, relatively straight – this is Archie Shepp, after all) there is some nice playing here, and a palpable sense of enjoyment in the ecstatic shouts of the rhythm section. The closing “Body and Soul” is taken at a more sedate tempo and is a lovely example of Shepp playing it sweet.
Although they all have their merits, this is probably my favourite of the three
My copy of this recording is a one of a reissue of several albums from the BYG Actuel series - a complete list of this series can be found here.