Kwanza

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Kwanza is a curious Archie Shepp recording. Released in 1969 on Impulse, it features cuts recorded between September 1968 and August 1969 with an assortment of lineups. Four of the album's five cuts were produced by Bob Thiele, and one, "Slow Drag," by Ed Michel. Shepp composed three tunes here, and he is in the company of musicians such as Grachan Moncur III who composed "New Africa", Jimmy Owens, Dave Burrell, Wally Richardson, Bob Bushnell, Bernard Purdie and Beaver Harris, Leon Thomas, Charles Davis, Woody Shaw, Cedar Walton, Wilbur Ware, Joe Chambers, Cecil Payne, and others. As the title might suggest, Kwanza is a joyful record, full of celebration in blues and jazz. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Kwanza is a curious Archie Shepp recording. Released in 1969 on Impulse, it features cuts recorded between September 1968 and August 1969 with an assortment of lineups. Four of the album's five cuts were produced by Bob Thiele, and one, "Slow Drag," by Ed Michel. Shepp composed three tunes here, and he is in the company of musicians such as Grachan Moncur III who composed "New Africa", Jimmy Owens, Dave Burrell, Wally Richardson, Bob Bushnell, Bernard Purdie and Beaver Harris, Leon Thomas, Charles Davis, Woody Shaw, Cedar Walton, Wilbur Ware, Joe Chambers, Cecil Payne, and others. As the title might suggest, Kwanza is a joyful record, full of celebration in blues and jazz. "Back Back" opens the set with a colossal funky blues that feels like an out version of the JB's with Burrell kicking it on B-3. The all-too-brief "Spoo Dee Doo," showcases Thomas' unique, and truly awesome vocal stylings along with Tasha Thomas and Doris Troy providing a swinging backing R&B chorus. "New Africa" is the most vanguard track here, with a different rhythm section than on "Back Back," and no guitar, Burrell returns to his piano. It begins in a manner that suggests anger, but not rage. It becomes an edgeless, rounded meditation on joy and gratitude, a statement of purpose at realization and transcendence with Shepp, Owens. and Davis playing alongside Moncur as a monumental choral line in timbres; textures, big harmonic reaches and ultimately resolution. "Slow Drag," is a funky blues tune, it struts a minor key line that feels like a mutated "Wade in the Water," but its Latin rhythms and the killer bass work of Wilbur Ware make the cut a standout. The set closes with Cal Massey's "Bakai," a tune that walks a fringed line on the inside and swings like mad. Kwanza may not be one of Shepp's better known recordings, but it is certainly one of his fine ones.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/31/2006
  • Label: Impulse Records
  • UPC: 602517050396
  • Catalog Number: 000740402

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Back Back (5:45)
  2. 2 Spoo Dee Doo (2:38)
  3. 3 New Africa (12:50)
  4. 4 Slow Drag (10:09)
  5. 5 Bakai (9:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Archie Shepp Primary Artist, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Andy Bey Piano
Dave Burrell Organ, Piano
Joe Chambers Drums
Beaver Harris Drums
Jimmy Owens Trumpet
Cecil Payne Baritone Saxophone
Woody Shaw Trumpet
James Spaulding Alto Saxophone
Leon Thomas Vocals
Cedar Walton Piano
Wilbur Ware Bass
Matthew Gee Trombone
Robin Kenyatta Flute
Charles Davis Baritone Saxophone
Grachan Moncur III Trombone
Doris Troy Vocals
Walter Booker Bass
Tasha Thomas Vocals
Martin Banks Trumpet
Bert Payne Guitar
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie Drums
Wally Richardson Guitar
Albert Winston Bass
Clarence Sharpe Alto Saxophone
Beaver Bushnell Bass
Technical Credits
Archie Shepp Composer
Dominic Lumetta Remixing
Zak Zenor Remixing
Emikan Sudan Liner Notes
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