RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Marion Brown: Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct)

 |   |  1 min read

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Marion Brown: Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct)

Although that is Archie “let my notes be bullets” Shepp staring intensely out of this album's cover alongside saxophonist Marion Brown, and despite three of the six pieces being penned by him, the great saxophonist doesn't actually appear on this '66 release.

No matter in way, because altoist Brown was a powerful and melodic player – he was 30 at the time, he died in 2010 – and he has alongside him trombonist Grachan Moncur III, and a shifting line-up which includes pianists Stanley Cowell and Dave Burrell, drummers Beaver Harris and Bobby Capp, and bassist Norris Jones (aka Sirone).

Many of these players – and of course Shepp, who is in his Eighties as we write – were in the vanguard of black political free jazz in the following decade, and some of that music was very commanding and demanding.

This album on Impulse! (Brown's debut under his own name) is more akin to entry level in that while there is some vigorous interplay and free jazz assertions there are also distinctively strong melodies (Brown's The Shadow Knows, Shepp's swinging Spooks).

And these players had worked, or would work together again, so there is a kind of intuitive empathy at work.

Certainly Brown would make other, and some would say better albums (many point to his sole ECM album Afternoon of a Georgia Fawn for its experimental musicality, others to his even more challenging EPS-Disk releases around this time). And of course he was on Shepp's seminal Attica Blues.

But this album is a useful jumping in point and then you can follow these artists previous and subsequent careers.

Three for Shepp has been available on Spotify for some time (and CD) but we bring it to attention now because it has been reissued on vinyl for the first time through Superior Viaduct.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Impulse)

Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Impulse)

An excellent and intelligent reissue of late-60s recordings by the much underrated pianist/harpist widow of jazz sax legend John Coltrane which includes tracks from two albums, Cosmic Music and A... > Read more

John Surman: Saltash Bells (ECM/Ode)

John Surman: Saltash Bells (ECM/Ode)

Sort of radio-without-pictures here from multi-instrumentalist John Surman who was scheduled to work with a photographer/filmmaker to document the area in Devon where he grew up. When that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPS by Yasmin Brown

EPS by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

VOLUME, MAKING MUSIC IN AOTEAROA at the Auckland War Memorial Museum

VOLUME, MAKING MUSIC IN AOTEAROA at the Auckland War Memorial Museum

This is the article I wrote for Metro magazine about the Volume exhibition which is currently running at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. People say it a lot: As you get older you can't... > Read more