Archie Shepp

California Meeting: Live on Broadway

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Archie Shepp recordings in the 1980s are hit and miss; this is one of the more interesting ones. Shepp does make the mistake of playing soprano on "A Night in Tunisia" (his abilities on that instrument pale next to his tenor) and having a guest singer (Royal Blue) brought out of the audience to sing "St. James Infirmary." But Shepp's tenor playing is excellent on a roaring "Giant Steps" and the ballad "My Romance," and his sidemen (pianist George Cables, bassist Herbie Lewis and drummer Eddie Marshall) are flexible and versatile enough for the diverse music. Not essential but this CD is worth picking up by Archie Shepp's fans.

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