Down Home New York

Archie Shepp

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Down Home New York Review

by Ron Wynn

Archie Shepp was the picture of rebellion and anger in the 1960s, but he became the voice of swing, blues and classicism in the 1980s. Shepp displayed his penchant for honking R&B and soulful blues on this 1984 date. The title piece was a jaunty stroll, as was the celebratory "Straight Street." Shepp turned to impressionistic fare with his version of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight." The group included a great drummer in Marvin Smith and also other competent players, although Saheb Sarbib sometimes did not offer as full and aggressive a backbeat as needed. But Shepp's swaggering, confident tone and style maintained the pace.

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