Archie Shepp, I'm jazz, this is my life

Harlem Nights

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Program notes

Director Frank Cassenti draws the portrait of Archie Shepp, whom he met in 1983 in Paris.

On Barbès Boulevard or at the New Morning concert hall, Shepp is benevolent and playful, which allows the camera to come closer to his music. He whishes he could find a new name for jazz, since the story he sings dates back from the time of slavery. Archie Shepp has a lot to say, so Cassenti follows and gets into the conversation: reflections on the eternal blues, short tributes to John Coltrane or readings of Arthur Rimbaud…

Conversation in a state of meditation allows a superb interpretation of Things Have Got To Change or else a saxophone solo offered to the sidewalk.

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