Archie Shepp - Derailleur: The 1964 Demo LP
Label: Triple Point
Archie Shepp's world has always been filled with fire music, and eventually Fire Music. Before that landmark LP, Shepp made Four For Trane – his August 1964 beachhead with Impulse. And even before that, as it turns out, came this one blip – the earliest Shepp leader project yet on record. Under supervision of the artist, this previously unissued demo recording is now available from Triple Point Records. As the cover of Derailleur suggests, Shepp tries out some surprising combinations for the session. The playlist includes two of Archie's earliest documented compositions – the jagged 5/4 statement "Viva Jomo" and a shuffling blues named for his Florida homeland. And an homage to Maestro Ellington of course. Archie had already defined his voice while a sideman and co-leader; now he was looking for his team. Shepp momentarily adopted the quartet that Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd led in the Village. This assemblage delivered a spontaneous demo, and engineer Art Crist captured it in a mono studio session. Buried in Archie's tape archive was this batch of music that was all but forgotten; now Triple Point has polished it into crisp perfection. Pressed on 150 gram vinyl at Independent Record Pressings, this release features an insert that contains photos and a new historical essay by Ben Young.