Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cry of My People (Dig)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Gospel
Listen to Samples
Better get on board now.....
Josh Z. Bonder | Toronto | 01/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly stupendous album from Mr. Shepp, which masterfully brings together all genres of African American music (up to the early 70's). The album is akin to "Attica Blues" and features many of the same musicians, including Joe Lee Wilson's incredible vocals. It also features more compositions by Cal Massey, a man who worked wonders alongside Shepp. Where this album differs from "Attica Blues" is that it features slightly less funk and free jazz, and has more of a gospel influence which permeates throughout.
Compositional credits include two songs by Archie Shepp, two by Cal Massey, two by Beaver Harris, one by Ford and one by Ellington. Having come to love "Attica Blues" before purchasing this disc, my favourite songs are those by Shepp and Massey. To my ears they've got the most swing and emotional colouring, though "The Lady" is quite stunning (particularly Wilson's vocals), and "Come Sunday" makes for a great closer. The album ebbs and flows in all the right places, and seems to have a perfect inner logic. It takes the listener along on a journey, and establishes a mood and headspace which are simply infectious once the disc starts spinning. While the album really works as a whole, there are some sections that really stand out and make you take notice: The astounding gospel-inflected vocals and horn parts on "All God's Children got a Home in the Universe", the latin-flavoured swing section (and incredible bass playing therein) on "A Prayer", and both the tempo change and haunting final vocal note of "The Lady" (which still sends shivers every time I hear it).
In all, I would highly recommend this album to anyone with an interest in the ouevre of Mr. Shepp, or in the eclectic nature of "jazz" music in the 1970's. If you like "Attica Blues" and are looking for a next album to turn to, this is definitely it. I know there are others from this era, but they are unfortunately out of print or in a state of flux. Enjoy this aural lesson in African American musical identity, and let it move you.
Very Highly Recommended"
William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 04/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I got this right after I heard Attica Blues, Shepp's funk/R&B masterpiece. It may have been my mistake, but I thought Cry Of My People linked as a companion piece to Attica.
And in a sense, it does. Shepp is using gospel and R&B influences here, and the music is gracefull and heartfelt. Again, he knows the genres he works in, and this shows on this album.
But I can't help but feel disappointed by Cry Of My People. This is one of his most subtle records-maybe that's the point- but after the bulldozer R&B of Attica, the balladry and gentleness of this album seems anti-climatic. I sat attentively, waiting for the song cycle to take off, and it just never did.
Shepp is of course, an artist of the highest order, and he should, and does, do whatever the hell he wants on record. But for me, and I conceed this is totally subjective, I wish this had the fire of Attica. (I wonder what these two albums combigned would have been like, tracks interspursed, as a double album)
Maybe I need to listen some more."
A Powerful Classic
Michael F. Davies | LA, CA USA | 05/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is some absolutely compelling sax work on this from Archie Shepp, along with soaring vocals from Joe Lee Wilson on "Come Sunday" and "The Lady". When this was first recorded, Archie Shepp was showcasing the compositions of Cal Massey - and rightfully / righteously so. The sounds on this CD are as moving today as they were thirty years ago. Listen up."