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ATTICA BLUES Original recording remastered


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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00007KMSO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,504 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Attica Blues 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Invocation: Attica Blues0:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Steam (Part 1) 5:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Invocation To Mr. Parker 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Steam (Part 2) 5:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Blues For Brother George Jackson 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Invocation: Ballad For A Child0:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ballad For A Child 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Good Bye Sweet Pops 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Quiet Dawn 6:12£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

In the 60s political sentiments had been central to the work of musicians like Archie Shepp, Max Roach and John Coltrane. As the 70s dawned, mainstream black music made those sentiments explicit. While many jazzers adopted the innovations of James Brown, Sly Stone et al, most did it at a purely musical level. Shepp could have just added a spot of electric funk to his usual arsenal of free jazz, R'n'B and romantic Ellingtonia. Instead with 1972's Attica Blues he created a furious, tender blast of faintly psychedelic soul jazz that's a jewel in his vast, uneven discography.

The opening title track refers to the shooting of43 inmates at the Attica Prison riot some months before. Shepp distils righteous, bristlinganger into a huge, shuddering slice of funk. Two electric bassists, four percussionists and obligatory wah-wah guitars provide monster riffage under huge slabs of horns, strings and Henry Hull's urgent, desperate vocal pleading.

The album never touches those energy levels again, but finds its intensity in different ways. "Steam" is one of Shepp's loveliest tunes and gets a couple of string-soaked readings here,topped off with whirling, electronically treated soprano and Joe Lee Wilson's mellifluous vocal. "Blues for Brother George Jackson" is classic Shepp R&B -more dancefloor friendly perhaps and posessed of some fruity tenor blasts, while the gorgeous "Ballad for a Child" hints at the lush melancholic protest of What's Going On.

It's on this track that Shepp's blend of avant brutalism and Ben Webster-esque tenderness works best. Remember, this is the man that described himself as a sentimentalist, not a romantic.Solos are kept short if not sweet; the soprano outing on Cal Massey's Louis Armstrong tribute "Goodbye Sweet Pops" is one of the few that last more than a few bars.

The album closes with another Massey tune, "Quiet Dawn",sung by the composer's seven year old daughter in a faltering voice. It's not as bad as it might sound, honest, but it's an inauspicious ending to an otherwise indispensable record. --Peter Marsh

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Miso Dread on 19 Mar 2008
Format: Audio CD
Don't let the very negative review put you off: this is a classic soul-jazz album. By no means representative of Archie Shepp's avant garde jazz excursions (presumably the reason for the dissing by said other reviewer), it is a rough hewn pearl of an album, musically and politically, and comes highly, highly recommended. The title tune is a rip-roaring monster, right up there with Art Ensemble Of Chicago's 'Theme De Yo Yo'
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By N. Patterson on 14 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a great record!4.5 stars. There's a whole bunch of styles - big band, soul, funk a bit of the jb's and some sly stone thrown in- a bit avant but you can dance to it and sing . Check out the soundbites cause this is a transition record and political ( check out the history) but overall this is just fun to listen to- one of my faves of Archie Shepp along with 'four for trane' and 'mama too tight'. one of his best
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12 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Jun 2005
Format: Audio CD
I normally really enjoy Archie Shepp - this album is seriously let down by the vocal tracks and it has to be said they are absolute stinkers. For once inspiration has left to be replaced by 3rd rate jazzy Motown. I wonder if the executives at Impulse were trying to deliver a pop album - to me the results sound puerile and come out more like sub standard "Ironside" TV music.
It is a great pity this has seen the light of day again, all I can say to those who contemplate buying this - DON'T. At least listen to the sample tracks provided by Amazon and let that decide for you - thankfully the vocal tracks are only 30 seconds long!
Instead go for his Live in San Francisco, Fire Music, Magic of Ju Ju or Four for Trane; these are far superior representations of his art and quality music.
Interestingly, I have the double CD set "Attica Blues Band" live concert from the late 1970s which features some of the material from this the original Attica Blues LP - now this is really very enjoyable. It's a pity that is so rare - if you get the chance buy the ABB double cd instead.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Brother on 1 Nov 2012
Format: MP3 Download
Much of this hasn't stood the test of time. The vocal tracks are mostly dated jazz-funk, and light with it. I've always had a weakness for the title track, however, and Shepp has revisited 'Steam' many times over the years.

The oddest thing about the album is its sentimentality and lack of anger. Recorded in the wake of the Attica prison massacre, when Nelson Rockefeller unleashed trigger-happy cops on prisoners who had occupied their jail (their hostages were also shot down by the 'rescuers'). Sixty nine people, if my memory is right, most of them black, died at the prison. You'd expect someone as politically-aware as Shepp to have made some moving and powerful music out of this horrific mass killing, but the album is a pastiche of styles. There are invocations of black musical heroes. There is a love song and a song to a child, neither of them great. For music that confronts black history with real ambition and emotional force, check out Wadada Leo Smith's epic Ten Freedom Summers.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Westwood on 8 Jan 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wish I could comment on this CD, ordered on the 6th December, however despite re-assurances that will delivered soon, the date keeps slipping back. Maybe I will get in time for next Christmas.
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