The Wire

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Listen: Archie Shepp's Invisible Jukebox playlist

October 2013

Stream a playlist of the tracks used to test tenor sax jazz legend Archie Shepp, in The Wire 357.

Archie Shepp was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1937, but cut his teeth as a tenor saxophonist in Philadelphia in the 1950s. After four years studying drama, he settled in New York, where a stint as a member of Cecil Taylor’s group and recording sessions with Bill Dixon and The New York Contemporary Five established him as an important player in the emerging free jazz scene.

Shepp was a member of the expanded group that recorded John Coltrane’s epochal Ascension. He went on to record influential albums for the Impulse! label, from 1964’s Four For Trane to 1972’s The Cry Of My People, as well as being a professor of theatre and music at the University of Massachusetts for 30 years.

A forthcoming Attica Blues Big Band album, I Hear The Sound, is set for release on Shepp's own label, Archieball soon, as well as a performance at the London Jazz Festival on 24 November.