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Archie Shepp and Jason Moran to Release Duo Album

The first joint recording by the 83-year-old saxophonist and 45-year-old pianist is due out Feb. 5

Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp performing at the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (photo by Joel A. Siegel)

Two jazz giants of two generations have come together for a collaborative project. Let My People Go, a duo recording by saxophonist Archie Shepp and pianist Jason Moran, will be released February 5 on Shepp’s Archieball Records.

Its first single, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” is available now on YouTube and other streaming platforms.

The album compiles a series of duet performances from 2017 and 2018.

Shepp, now 83, has been a force in the jazz world for six decades. A collaborator in the 1960s with Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane, the saxophonist had a formative effect on the development of avant-garde jazz. His musical palette broadened considerably from the 1970s onward, with explorations of African music, blues, spirituals, and staples of the swing and bebop repertoire.

Though just over half Shepp’s age—he will turn 46 next month—Moran is no less a force. The pianist and composer is a MacArthur Fellow, the artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and an acclaimed musician and bandleader known for assaying the full spectrum of jazz history.

The two musicians met at the 2015 JazzMiddelheim Festival in Belgium and have since formed a deep friendship, playing frequently together and sitting in on each other’s gigs. Let My People Go, however, is their first recording together.

The album can be preordered here.