Archie Shepp Quotes.
All the tenets that I had grown up with were thrown out the window.
Negro music and culture are intrinsically improvisational, existential. Nothing is sacred. After a decade, a musical idea, no matter how innovative, is threatened.
And when I met Cecil Taylor it was a complete transformation of musical identities. All the tenets that I had grown up with were thrown out the window.
Yes, the audience is so important to Negro music, especially the element of call and response.
In America, for a brief time, people who followed John Coltrane were studied and considered important, but it didn’t last long. The result is that the kind of music I played in the ’60’s is completely dismissed in this country as a wrong turn, a suicidal effort.
In America, for a brief time, people who followed Coltrane were studied and considered important, but it didn’t last long. The result is that the kind of music I played in the ’60’s is completely dismissed in this country as a wrong turn, a suicidal effort.
Music is a language, and it’s like a dictionary that has a lot of words, but if you limited yourself to a couple of definitions you would be illiterate. If one limits oneself to a peculiar definition like ‘new music,’ ‘avant-garde,’ or something like that, I think it’s like cutting out half the dictionary.
Today, music is visual.
I find that here in the States, audiences are generally less knowledgeable, from the cognitive point of view, though they are emotionally more receptive.
So, rap has that quality, for youth anyway; it’s a kind of blues element. It’s physical, almost gymnastic. It speaks to you organically. Rap grows out of what young people really are today, not only black youth, but white – everybody.
So, I was just a young guy, maybe with an idea, and Cecil Taylor, himself a rebel, would take a chance on a guy like me. It turned out to be a very symbiotic partnership. I learned a lot from him.
Black music has become a commercial commodity. Live performances are not so accessible as they were previously. It use to be possible to go to the bar on the corner and hear music. It was available for a fifteen cent beer.
Music and culture are intrinsically improvisational, existential.
To some degree, yeah, because I have to play a certain number of originals that might be considered avant-garde material. I realize though, that only a few people in the audience actually know what that music is, or understand it.
Rap actually took root in the Negro community, and then in the Hispanic community, long before it impacted on the larger American community as a whole.