Archie Shepp & Joachim Kuhn
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At first glance, the pairing of veteran American saxophonist Archie Shepp and German pianist Joachim Kuhn seems an unlikely one. But Wo!man is not the first time the two have performed together. Two or three decades back—Shepp says that he cannot now remember the year exactly—the saxophonist worked with Kühn in a band led by Finnish drummer Edward Vesala. It is a real pleasure, Shepp says, to have been reunited.
The pleasure is not, moreover, entirely Shepp's, nor Kühn's, for Wo!man is an album of lush romanticism which should make your ears smile too. It comprises five lustrous Shepp/Kuhn originals and three lovely jazz standards, Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers' "Harlem Nocturne." Shepp's signature rough edges, multiphonics and off-piste free flights are present, but so too are echoes of master balladeers Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster.
Recorded in studio de Meudon: on November 15 and 16, 2010