For Losers/Kwanza

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Though the two titles featured on this Impulse two-fer were originally issued four years apart, they were recorded pretty much at the same time. For Losers, released in 1970, reflects Archie Shepp's deep fascination with rhythm & blues and soul, as well as showing how vanguard jazz drew directly from the tradition. Produced by Ed Michel, this album and Kwanza features Shepp in the company of Grachan Moncur III, Jimmy Owens, Woody Shaw, Charles Davis, Dave Burrell, Cedar Walton, Andy Bey, Robin Kenyatta, Cecil Payne, James Spaulding, Wilbur Ware, Beaver Harris, Bernard Purdie, Joe Chambers, Leon Thomas, and Doris Troy, to name a few. It ranges from the funky stomp of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Though the two titles featured on this Impulse two-fer were originally issued four years apart, they were recorded pretty much at the same time. For Losers, released in 1970, reflects Archie Shepp's deep fascination with rhythm & blues and soul, as well as showing how vanguard jazz drew directly from the tradition. Produced by Ed Michel, this album and Kwanza features Shepp in the company of Grachan Moncur III, Jimmy Owens, Woody Shaw, Charles Davis, Dave Burrell, Cedar Walton, Andy Bey, Robin Kenyatta, Cecil Payne, James Spaulding, Wilbur Ware, Beaver Harris, Bernard Purdie, Joe Chambers, Leon Thomas, and Doris Troy, to name a few. It ranges from the funky stomp of "Stick 'Em Up" with Thomas up front and which draws equally on James Brown and Rufus Thomas, through to an avant version of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good," with Troy's vocal atop a warm but angular and elastic harmonic arrangement, to a nearly straight version of Cal Massey's classic ballad "What Would It Be Without You," with beautiful interplay between Shepp's tenor and Payne's flute. The entire second side is taken up by "Un Croque Monsieur Poem: For Losers," an outside jazz jam of epic proportions. Kwanza, though it was recorded at nearly the same time, was not released until 1974. Its cuts display the same lineups as those on For Losers. While on the surface it would seem to be a collection of outtakes and leftovers from the earlier album, it doesn't doesn't play like one. With Michel producing only one track, and the balance by Bob Thiele, it sounds more like a direct follow-up. Shepp composed three tunes here; two of which "Back Back" and "Slow Drag," with killer trumpet work by Shaw reflect the tough, nasty soul and rhythm & blues foundations of the earlier album, while the other, "Spoo Pee Doo," while brief, is a curiously strange midtempo jazz ballad sung by Thomas. Moncur's modally based free workout "New Africa" appears as the set's longest and most satisfying number, with another Massey number, "Makai," which has its repetitive, labyrinthine counterpoint played to the hilt by Shepp and bassist Walter Booker. Together, For Losers and Kwanza are hotly debated but essential parts of the Shepp Impulse discography; they embody not merely the paradoxes of his vision, but the enormity of it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/26/2011
  • Label: Impulse Records
  • UPC: 600753347225
  • Catalog Number: 5334722
  • Sales rank: 382,565

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Stick 'Em Up (2:06)
  2. 2 Abstract (4:23)
  3. 3 I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good) (5:17)
  4. 4 What Would It Be Without You (4:07)
  5. 5 Un Croque Monsieur (21:49)
  6. 6 Back Back (5:45)
  7. 7 Spoo Pee Doo (2:37)
  8. 8 New Africa (12:48)
  9. 9 Slow Drag (10:08)
  10. 10 Bakai (9:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Archie Shepp Primary Artist, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Dave Burrell Organ, Piano
Joe Chambers Drums
Beaver Harris Drums
Jimmy Owens Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Cecil Payne Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Woody Shaw Trumpet
James Spaulding Alto Saxophone
Leon Thomas Vocals
Cedar Walton Piano
Wilbur Ware Bass
Matthew Gee Trombone
Robin Kenyatta Flute, Alto Saxophone
Mel Brown Organ, Guitar
Charles Davis Baritone Saxophone
Grachan Moncur III Trombone
Doris Troy Vocals
Walter Booker Bass
Tasha Thomas Vocals
Martin Banks Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Bob Bushnell Bass
Wilton Felder Bass
Bert Payne Guitar
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie Drums
Wally Richardson Guitar
Albert Winston Bass
Clarence Sharpe Alto Saxophone
Andrew Bey Piano
Beaver Harrison Drums
Chinalin Sharpe Vocals
Technical Credits
Archie Shepp Composer
Cal Massey Composer
Grachan Moncur III Composer
Dick Weissman Engineer
Duke Ellington Composer
Ed Michel Producer
Ernie Oelrich Engineer
Bob Simpson Engineer
Paul Francis Webster Composer
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