Saturday Night Jazz

It’s been quite some times since our last Saturday Night Jazz. I think tonight, for some reason I can’t quite put a finger on, calls for Joe McPhee’s “Shakey Jake,” from his amazing 1971 album, Nation Time. If you don’t know, Joe McPhee is a monster: his early stuff, like Nation Time, is completely unafraid of imitation (remembrances of Coltrane are in nearly every note) and repetition; his later stuff runs headlong for the breaking point, blazing adventurous paths that sometimes work, sometimes don’t.  I like “Shakey Jake” so much because it represents for me a sound of jazz not quite taken up–not even really by McPhee. AllMusic’s description of the track is nice enough to quote: “With the quintet expanded by an alto sax, organist, and electric guitarist, McPhee gets busy marrying free jazz to James Brown funk or maybe creating a vision of what would have happened if early-’60s Coltrane had revisited his R&B youth.”

Dig it.

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Posted in Jazz. 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Saturday Night Jazz”

  1. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    Mother fuckers have blocked it.

  2. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    Listening on Spotify. Fucking good.

  3. Richard Says:

    “Shakey Jake” is one of my favorites. Bring it. I agree about the path not taken.

    Incidentally, McPhee is still out there playing and recording. He’s very much worth checking out live if you can.

  4. Brad Johnson Says:

    He is indeed still playing, and not shy at all about breaking out his vuvuzela–as he did at last year’s Konfrontationen festival in Austria.

  5. ben Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Joe McPhee. (Also The Thing and the Cato Salsa Experience.)

  6. Brad Johnson Says:

    Ben, that is most excellent. This is new to me. Big fan of The Thing, though. One of the best live shows you can see.

  7. Brad Johnson Says:

    For those who liked Ben’s contribution, might I then add this.


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