Monday, March 27, 2006
Archie Shepp/Lars Gullin Quintet
ARCHIE SHEPP/LARS GULLIN QUINTET
THE HOUSE I LIVE IN
Steeplechase SCCD 36013
Recorded November 21st 1963
1. You Stepped Out of a Dream
2. I Should Care
3. The House I Live In
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
ARCHIE SHEPP; tenor sax
LARS GULLIN; baritone sax
TETE MONTOLIOU; piano
NIELS HENNING ORSTED PEDERSEN; bass
ALEX RIEL; drums
Europe has always been fertile ground for Shepp. As he has said himself, the greater intellectualism of European audiences made it much easier for his complex music to find receptive ears. As a result several periods of his career have been spent in Europe and a great many recordings have become available. One of the earliest is this 1963 Danish concert featuring bop baritonist Lars Gullin and bass stalwart Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen.
The quintet work through four standards, the opener 'You Stepped Out Of A Dream' being the high point. It's a long piece at nineteen minutes, giving Shepp ample time to improvise in his usual manner. The contrast with the straight-ahead rhythm section is marked, being all the more obvious at those times when Gullin tries (not always successfully) to follow Shepp in his flights.
As a document of an emerging talent this is an interesting release. The Europeans are up to scratch too, so it's good to hear something from them - when most of us think of European jazz we think of the ECM label. Those trying to discover the roots of Shepp's style would be better advised to search out the 1960-61 Candid recordings with Cecil Taylor that show off the young tenor's unique style to better effect.