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Archie Shepp Quartet
- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

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( Bio)
With
Archie Shepp, Saxophone and Vocals
Charles Persip, Drums
Leon Lee Dorsey, Bass
John Hicks, Piano
Featuring Alvina Claudine Meyers, Vocals
At
Birdland
315 West 44th Street, NYC
212.581.3080
www.birdlandjazz.com

Gianni Valenti, Owner
Andy Kaufman, Business Manager
Tarik Osman, Manager

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 27, 2003

Originally Published on ExploreDance.com

Archie Shepp is a highly versatile performer, one who scats and croons, belts out his saxophone, and woos his fans with personal and inspirational comments. Tonight, when Birdland's house lights dimmed, Archie sang a ballad of love, with a hint of the lone piano and brushes from John Hicks and Charles Persip. Archie used drama and passion, as the song built momentum, with Charles' drums and Leon Lee Dorsey's bass. John's keyboard oozed with rhythm. Without missing a beat, Archie picked up his saxophone and moved this conventional motif to dynamic jazz. Charles' drums were smooth, and Archie ended the ballad with a repeat of vocals and melancholia. In Sting, a personally created tribute to a murdered cousin, Archie sang to a background of bass with a contrasting rhythm. Charles was on auto-pilot, as his drums filled the Club. Charles Persip, a master drummer, had been in the Dizzy Gillespie Band. When Archie walked off the stage, mid-song, John took over on piano, until Archie's triumphant return on saxophone. Archie presented canary-like tones, with a sensual sound that preceded Leon's soulful bass.

Une Petite Surprise pour Mamselle was personally composed for Archie's eldest daughter. I noticed Charles' black and white birch-wood design on his drums, which provided the visual "on the town" look for this sexy, sassy, upbeat piece. The soulful ending was a tribute to Archie's family devotion and love. All the pieces in this set were lengthy and varying in tempo and instrumentation. Archie's sax showcased its full possibilities, with endless notes and skipped octaves. His next song seemed to melt into the previous one, another song of love. A song for Archie's grandmother, Mama Rose, was a feminist song of revolution and Gospel. Alvina Claudine Meyers, on keyboard and vocals, was driven and possessed, and Archie, on saxophone, filled in the edges of this almost danceable rhythm, at times a Salsa, at times a Swing. This song was about Peace.

The next number, again sung by Ms. Meyers, was a bluesy torch song, with soft bass and brushes, as well as Archie's intermittent and sensitive saxophone. Ms. Meyers then performed an original Gospel, with Archie on saxophone, a rich and rousing duet. A bit later, a piece for Quanza, the African New Year, was lively and dynamic, with Charles' rapid Swing beat and Leon, on bass, assisting Archie's dissonant sax. The final piece, swinging and bluesy, brought Ms. Meyers back to the keyboard for vocals, as John expertly took the keys. In fact, John Hicks was a fine, traditional jazz pianist. DO NOT MISS Archie Shepp and his Trio, when he's next in town.

If you're a Jazz Fan or Jazz Musician, looking for a hotel in New York or Chicago, check out the reasonably priced, clean and comfortable Fitzpatrick Hotels, and eat a traditional Irish Breakfast before you check out, or buy a drink at the Fitzpatrick Hotel Pub, when you check in!


Stafford Hunter and Jack Jeffers, Guests
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Archie Shepp at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Wade Barnes (Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble) (Brooklyn4jazz@hotmail.com)
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Claudine Meyers, Vocalist, at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Charles Persip, Drummer, at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Stafford Hunter, Archie Shepp, Wade Barnes, Charles Persip
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Leon Lee Dorsey, Bassist, at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



John Hicks, Pianist, at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Archie Shepp Quartet
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Charles Persip on Drums
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Archie Shepp on Vocals
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Claudine Meyers on Piano
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Claudine Meyers and John Hicks
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Michelle, Erica, Tarik
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

 

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net