Archie Shepp's "Attica Blues" in La Villette

Jazz à la Villette 2012

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Archie Shepp — Singer, Bandleader, saxophonist

Attica Blues Big Band

Jean-Claude André — Music director

Program notes

A year after the 1971 Attica Prison Uprising—a watershed moment in the prisoners' rights movement and American culture more generally—free jazz visionary Archie Shepp published "Attica Blues," an ambitious oratorio Rolling Stone magazine described as "a politico/religious experience, an appeal to higher human consciousness to, for God's sake, help us out of this torment." Forty years later, the work's deep humanity and ambitious scale took pride of place at the 2012 Jazz à la Villette Festival, with Shepp at the helm of the Attica Blues Big Band. 

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