Phat Jam in Milano

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
It had been quite some time in between releases for Archie Shepp, and this 2009 issue adds to his reputation as a musician who has always been known for mixing progressive modern jazz with spoken word. This live performance in Milano, Italy, at the Teatro Manzoni during the Festival Apertivo teams Shepp with a formidable band alongside fellow creative alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, drummer Hamid Drake, solid improvising bassist Joe Fonda, and rapper/poet Napoleon Maddox. The mutual respect between all of these artists is clear and present, as the group weaves in the outspoken music of the saxophonists with bold invention and pointed statements about current society and...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
It had been quite some time in between releases for Archie Shepp, and this 2009 issue adds to his reputation as a musician who has always been known for mixing progressive modern jazz with spoken word. This live performance in Milano, Italy, at the Teatro Manzoni during the Festival Apertivo teams Shepp with a formidable band alongside fellow creative alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, drummer Hamid Drake, solid improvising bassist Joe Fonda, and rapper/poet Napoleon Maddox. The mutual respect between all of these artists is clear and present, as the group weaves in the outspoken music of the saxophonists with bold invention and pointed statements about current society and politics via Napoleon's wordplay. It's an engaging set of music that comes expected from the participants, but is consistently surprising in its depth and substance about recent events. If you remember Shepp's great story of "Mama Rose" from years past, "Revolution" will strike a similar chord as he talks about his grandma; slavery; a time with no instruments aside from bodies; and a trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco to Baghdad, looking for the sun amidst war. Maddox is quite the lithe linguist, speaking about "doing what you got to do" on the funky rap "Dig," and railing against the foibles of the George W. Bush administration's "illegal business controlling America" during the lengthy "Ill Biz." Lake and Shepp together push the harmonic envelope like few other sax tandems on the modal Latin jazz piece "Casket," while a third saxophonist, Cochemea Gastelum, joins in on occasion. For most listeners, a highly modified version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" will seem an odd inclusion, but the band pulls it off. The original plodding drum beat of John Bonham is replaced by a much faster funky rhythm as the horns chip and bark while the frantic, manic rapping of Maddox refers to letting life pass by too fast, enjoying the natural and spiritual, and saying "I live because I was once dead." As these players have certainly expressed their share of freedom through music, so they do once again with an upbeat fervor, timely themes, and the animated Maddox raising the level of this hybrid art form to new contemporary heights. In many ways, it's a triumphant return for the unflappable and ever evolving Archie Shepp.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/14/2009
  • Label: Dawn Of Freedom
  • UPC: 794881919420
  • Catalog Number: 901
  • Sales rank: 160,324

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dig (5:38)
  2. 2 Ill Biz (11:04)
  3. 3 Kashmir (11:36)
  4. 4 The Life We Chose (6:18)
  5. 5 Revolution (13:26)
  6. 6 Casket (9:08)
  7. 7 Ill Biz (3:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Archie Shepp Primary Artist, Saxophone, Vocals, Soloist
Oliver Lake Saxophone
Hamid Drake Drums
Joe Fonda Double Bass
Cochemea Gastelum Saxophone
Napoleon Maddox Percussion, Vocals, Rap, Beat Box
Olivier Lake Saxophone
Technical Credits
Jimmy Page Composer
Archie Shepp Composer, Liner Notes
John Bonham Composer
Gianni Grassilli Engineer
Claire Daly Composer
Aaron Albano Composer
Napoleon Maddox Composer
Roberto Cifarelli Picture
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