I love Archie Shepp‘s music.
First, he’s a follower of the Coltrane path (the later helped him get a record deal and invited him for his Ascension album), and you can hear a lot of Coltrane in his music.
However, Archie Shepp has a definite voice of his own.
In the late sixties, Shepp spent some time in Paris, and recorded couple of albums for BYG.
One of the classic albums was Blase (Released in 1970). Featuring two members of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and surprisingly two harmonica players, this album is more of a homage to blues and melody, fusioned with dark and mysterious mood, much influenced by the fight for black rights of Malcolm X and King.
You don’t have to be a fan of free jazz, though it helps, but this album is truly beautiful and addictive, and a personal favorite of mine. Try It.
Archie Shepp – Blase