Swing King | Cincinnati, OH USA | 05/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1972 recording for Verve is one of Archie Shepp's more theatrical releases, a statement as to what is in store by itself. Shepp, fuming over the recent Attica Prison atrocity of his day, unleashes horns from hell on this wrathful musical venture. And Shepp is not alone, accompanied by a humungous assembly of musicians helping to knit the intricate musical web that is this album. "Attica Blues" is definitely a group mission and was not intended to just revolve around Shepp's horn, one of the hallmarks of much of Shepp's body of work.
Funky soul driven numbers make up this brave work, along with some rather poetic vocal arrangements and atypical timing in parts. This album is a distinctively Archie Shepp project, from the kicking off of the fervent title track on through to the peculiar vocals appearing on the final track, "Quiet Down". "Attica Blues" was both a cultural and artistic snapshot of the racial woes of the early 1970s, a beautiful reminder of a painful past. Buy this one today!