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Archie Shepp

Poem For Malcom (LP)

Label: BYG Records

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

In stock

Historic 1969 Paris session by the american saxophonist-vocalist-intellectual who conveys his deep anguish at the loss of a civil rights icon.

In a long and distinguished career Archie Shepp has made a number of important political statements, speaking out boldly on racial inequality and oppression in America, and Poem For Malcolm has pride of place in his discography. Recorded at the tailed of the 60s after the saxophonist had relocated to Paris, the album, boiling with emotion, features a deeply affecting performance by an all-star cast of contributors that includes U.S hard bop hero Hank Mobley as well as Art Ensemble Of Chicago bassist Malachi Favors, pianist Burton Greene, and French drummer Claude Delcloo.

While embracing the dynamic, turbulent energy of the avant-garde or New Thing the players did not entirely break from tradition and a reprise of ‘Oleo’, one of the enduring post-bop themes of saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins, is a highlight of the album. But first and foremost Archie Shepp’s towering personality dominates proceedings. The title track is a searing recital of a text he wrote to mark the passing of his role model Malcolm X that fully conveys the grief over the death of a visionary who sought to bring both dignity and autonomy to people of colour the world over. Standing tall in what can be seen as an inspired trilogy of albums that includes Yasmina, A Black Woman and Blasé, both awarded Audiophile Album of the Month by Jazzwise magazine in March 2023, Poem For Malcolm offers an opportunity to feel the power of Archie Shepp’s poetry as well as the artistry of a transatlantic band at the cutting edge of post-War improvised music. 

The words and sounds have lost none of their appeal and will be heard loud and clear on this newly remastered edition which commemorates the upcoming 2024 "America's second Independence Day", Juneteenth, that emphasizes teaching about African-American heritage and agitates awareness.

Cat. number: BYG529311
Year: 2024

Recorded August 14, 1969, Paris.