Sunday, January 31, 2010

Archie SHEPP - The New York Contemporary Five 1963

Archie SHEPP - The New York Contemporary Five 1963
1984 Issue
Recorded at The Jazzhaus Montmarte, Copenhagen, on November 15, 1963


This historically significant CD has ten of the 11 selections recorded by The New York Contemporary Five (and originally issued on two separate LPs) on November 11, 1963. The short-lived group, which consists of cornetist Don Cherry, altoist John Tchicai, Archie Shepp on tenor, bassist Don Moore and drummer J.C. Moses, was avant-garde for the period, influenced most by Ornette Coleman's Quartet; the participation of Coleman's cornetist certainly helped. However Tchicai (although sometimes hinting at Coleman) had a different approach than Ornette Coleman and it was obvious that Shepp had already developed his own original voice and was the group's most passionate soloist. Together this very interesting quintet (which would soon break up) performs pieces by Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk (short melodic renditions of "Monk's Mood" and "Crepescule with Nellie"), Bill Dixon, Tchicai, Shepp and Cherry.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
One disc,75 minutes approximately. Remastered from the original tapes. Good delineation between the instruments with a clean sound. This disc comprises two vinyl releases which were recorded live, in 1963. This set is under Archie Shepp's name in hopes that it would sell more through name recognition than for the quality of music. The musicians,besides Shepp on tenor sax consist of Don Cherry-cornet,John Tchicai-alto sax,Don Moore-bass,and J.C.Mose drums. The music recorded by this group is much more important than a lot of people realize. Their is a slight feel of Ornette Coleman flowing around this music,and not just because of Cherry's presence. The tunes are a combination of traditional jazz foundations on which the then "new thinking" was overlaid,which gives this set(besides good music) an importance much greater than this fleeting group. The tunes were written by Coleman,Monk,and several members of the group. Of particular note is the track TRIO,which is long(fifteen minutes or so)written by the trumpeter Bill Dixon. The sound of this track is different than the others,being in a modal style with varying meters. This gives this track a real identity and is one of the highlights of this set. All the tracks were recorded live in Copenhagen,where this type of music found a welcome home. This group didn't last long,with several members moving to the U.S. Shepp stayed in Europe and recorded several albums. Some of the best were duo settings such as GOIN' HOME,TROUBLE IN MIND,and LOOKING AT BIRD. Listeners should not be put off with thinking this music is difficult to understand and enjoy. This is music that has a bite-but when it's over,you won't mind,because
this set works it's way into your mind,and you realize you have heard something important on the long road of jazz.
By Stuart Jefferson.
J.C. Moses- Drums
John Tchicai- Alto Sax
Don Moore- Bass
Don Cherry- Cornet
Archie Shepp- Soprano,Tenor Sax
01. Consequences (Cherry) 8:37
02. Monk's Mood (Monk) 2:29
03. Emotions (Coleman) 8:42
04. Wo Wo (Tchicai) 5:50
05. Trio (Dixon) 15:32
06. Crepescule With Nellie (Monk) 2:21
07. O.C. (Coleman) 6:40
08. When Will The Blues Leave (Coleman) 8:58
09. The Funeral (Shepp) 5:08
10. Mick (Tchicai) 7:41

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