Archie Shepp

Archie Shepp was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 24th,1937. He was brought up in Philadelphia where he started to learn to play piano, clarinet, and alto. Later he switched to Tenor.

He met Lee Morgan, Jimmy Heath and John Coltrane in Philadelphia. Studied drama at Goddard College in 1955-59, and after graduating he settled in New York, where he worked with Cecil Taylor and appeared in the play "The Connection". Later he co-led a group with trumpeter Bill Dixon and then with John Tchicai and Don Cherry. From 1965 he began occasional associations with John Coltrane working with him in various clubs.

This exposure, and the endorsement of his abilities by Coltrane, were enormously helpful in establishing Shepp in the USA and Internationally.

His main influences are Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman.

Shepp's music has always been less abstract than that of other avante-gardists, and he is a deft and highly original composer.

In 1979 he toured Europe with a group led by pianist Mal Waldron, and at this point in his career has added soprano sax to his instruments and as once more playing post-bop music.

Still active on the scene, he teaches and lectures on music.

Recommended recordings:"Fire Music" Impulse IMPD-158
"I Know About The Life"Sackville SKCD2-3026
"Attica Blues"Impulse 9222
"Lady Bird"Denon DC-9546
"Trouble in Mind"
with Horace Parlan
Steeplechase SCH-31139
"Goin Home"
with Horace Parlan
Steeplechase SCH-31079