20 Essential Archie Shepp Tracks

Source: uDiscover.

In the early 1960s, no other jazz musician sounded quite like Archie Shepp. He played the tenor saxophone like he was wielding the musical equivalent of a flamethrower; his horn blasting out streams of notes that crackled with a fiery, take-no-prisoners intensity.

He first made his mark on the New York jazz scene as a complete unknown in 1960 at the age of 23 with the avant-garde trailblazer Cecil Taylor on the pianist’s landmark album, The World Of Cecil Taylor. Though Taylor’s music polarized the jazz community, it gave Shepp’s nascent career both credibility and momentum, setting him on a path that would see him feted as one of the leading lights of the free jazz or “New Thing” movement alongside fellow luminaries Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and John Coltrane.