Preview: Archie Shepp at Ronnie Scott's
Archie Shepp, legendary saxophonist and free jazz pioneer, will be performing at Ronnie Scott's for one night only, playing two sets on Friday 31 July
Archie Shepp's single night at Ronnie Scott's this month is a welcome opportunity to hear this great musician. His quartet is to feature long-time partners Tom McClung (piano), Wayne Dockery (bass) and Steve McCraven (drums), and promises to be an excellent combination.
Shepp followed the free-jazz paradigm, where melody is fragmented and instrumental tone highly vocalised and rapid flurries or timbral effects are employed. His groups emphasised collective improvisation, stressing African-American as opposed to European musical values.
His tone became even fuller-bodied, featuring growls, bends and wide vibrato from earlier jazz – here following Albert Ayler – and he simplified his style further from the 1970s onwards. The very fine recorded results included Goin' Home (1977) and Trouble In Mind (1980), both duos with pianist Horace Parlan, featuring Shepp on soprano as well as tenor; they're among the most moving, sensitive recordings of spirituals and blues ever made. Shepp has recorded less in recent years.
Doors at Ronnie's open for set one at 6.00pm and for set two at 10.30pm. Tickets, priced from £30.00 to £52.50, can be obtained from the Ronnie Scott's website.
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