Monday, 12 August 2013

Yasmina, a Black Woman

Yasmina, a Black Woman is a jazz album by Archie Shepp, recorded in 1969 in Paris for BYG Actuel records. It features musicians from the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The initial track, giving its title to the album, is a long free jazz piece by an eleven-piece orchestra; in it, the indication to Africa that Shepp had tried out with only a few weeks earlier in Algiers are to be found in the use of African percussion instruments, or the African incantations sung by Shepp himself at the start of the track. 

The other two pieces, a homage to Sonny Rollins written by trombonist Grachan Moncur III and a standard, played by a more traditional quintet and quartet respectively, are more reminiscent of the hard bop genre, even though the fiery playing of the musicians, notably Shepp himself, gives them a specific avant-garde edge. It was formerly issued on CD by Affinity (paired with "Poem For Malcolm") mastered from a very noisy vinyl source and later reissued by Charly (also paired with "Poem For Malcolm") from the novel master tapes.