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Archie Shepp and Richard Davis

Body & Soul

Pure Pleasure

enja 7007

LP Black $50
  • Re-mastering by: Cicely Baston at Alchemy/Air Mastering
  • Produced by Horst Weber
  • Engineer – Marvin Nunn
  • Recorded October 1st, 1989, Club Cantare, Boston


This duet date from 1990 demonstrates the deep blues feeling and technical mastery Archie Shepp has on the tenor saxophone. Comprised of four standards — “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” “Body and Soul,” “Pannonica,” and “’Round Midnight” — this set is one of Shepp’s most enjoyable ever. The reasons are myriad, but it is in large part due to the fluid, loping bass of Richard Davis. Recorded in a club in front of a live audience, Shepp digs deep into his own history of influential tenor players and comes out not wanting, but on par with them, from Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis to Sonny Rollins to John Coltrane. His playing here is big, meaty, and warm, full of subtle emotions as well as bleating cries. Davis’ sense of time and melody is nearly incredible on the title track and on “Round Midnight.” The interplay Shepp shares with him is tasty, coming from fragmentary elements in Monk’s changes; Shepp and Davis move around the lyric and cut to the heart of the tune’s color and ambiguity. It’s a haunting version and one that offers a completely different reading of the tune over 17 minutes. On “Pannonica,” Shepp’s blues feeling comes out of Ben Webster as well as Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and his soloing is full of warmth, humor, and a ragged sort of elegance. This — like Shepp’s date with Horace Parlan, Goin’ Home — is a major addition to the saxophonist’s catalog.

Preview Tracklist

  • 1 Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
  • 2 Body And Soul
  • 3 Pannonica
  • 4 Round About Midnight