After leaving a strong impression on Japanese jazz fans with his three albums released from Venus Records in the late 1990s, Archie Shepp returned with this smash hit in 2001. Also known as "French Ballads" in Japan, this album consists entirely of French songs and songs associated with France, where Shepp had resided for many years.
The program beings with "Deja Vu," an original composition by Shepp, and includes the ubiquitous "Les Feuilles Mortes" ("Autumn Leaves") and attractive "Sous Le Ciel De Paris" ("Under The Paris Skies").
Shepp plays sweet and romantic French melodies with a lot of emotions but he rejects saccharine sentimentality. This clash of characteristics brings tension to his ballad playing and makes it riveting. Shepp also manages to relax and have fun with upbeat tunes such as "L'Ame Des Poetes" and "April in Paris".
Archie Shepp has long established a reputation as a fiery avant-garde jazz stylist, though he is remarkably restrained in this collection of ballads recorded in 2001. The rhapsodic songs help restrain him somewhat, along with the presence of the terrific rhythm section, consisting of pianist Harold Mabern, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Billy Drummond.
- 180g Vinyl
- Mixed and Mastered by Tetsuo Hara
- Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix Stereo
- Obi strip
- Made in Japan
|Archie Shepp||tenor sax|
- Deja Vu
- April In Paris
- Les Feuilles Mortes
- L'Ame Des Poetes
- Sous Le Ciel De Paris
- What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Recorded at The Studio in New York June 11 and 12, 2001.