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.

7 thoughts on “Saturday Night Jazz

  1. “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.

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