I’m seeing Archie Shepp tomorrow as part of the PDX Jazz Festival, and I cannot wait. I’m gearing up by listening to this live set, one of two records that came from his 1975 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Not as out-there as Mama Too Tight or The Magic of Ju-Ju, but it’s a pretty hot performance, and one that I imagine closely captures what I’ll be experiencing this weekend. One of the last of the avant-garde/free jazz players–gotta see these legends while we still can.
I’ve decided to do a once- or twice-weekly feature where I write about some of the records I listen to throughout the week at TDoL HQ–the upstairs hideaway where I retreat (and occasionally sip whiskey and smoke banana peels) after everyone goes to bed. I’m calling it, you guessed it, Getting The Spins. I figured this would be a nice, easy way to write about music without feeling the need to overanalyze or get too verbose (don’t worry, there will be plenty of that sort of nonsense in other features). I figured I’d start with this record, which I picked up a few weeks ago, and has been getting steady play ever since.
Lately I’ve been buying more jazz records than anything else. So when this one was recommended by a fellow music writer on one of those nerdy (and sometimes insufferable) FB groups where people post what they’re currently listening to, I went immediately to the record shop up the road from me and bought it (I was shocked to have found it so quickly, but Crossroads in Portland is an absolute goldmine). Anyway, Ornette Coleman’s Of Human Feelings absolutely smokes. It’s completely out-there avant-funk that lives up to Coleman’s free jazz past, and pushes his playing and compositional skill even further. And with bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma in the mix–who absolutely steals the show–you’ve got yourself one hell of a skull-splitter.