The octet Archie Shepp surrounded himself with in 1966 was filled with new and old faces. The twin trombones of Roswell Rudd and Grachan Moncur III embodied this, but so did bassist Charlie Haden and trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, while familiar figures like drummer Beaver Harris and tubaist Howard Johnson had been part of Shepp's regular band. There are four tracks on Mama Too Tight, all of them in some way acting as extensions of the opening three-part suite, "A Portrait of Robert Thomson (As a Young Man). Here again, lots of free blowing, angry bursts of energy, and shouts of pure revelry are balanced with Ellingtonian elegance and restraint that was considerable enough to let the lyric line float through and encourage more improvisation. This is Shepp at his level best.
Oh Mercy was hailed as a comeback, not just because it had songs noticeably more meaningful than anything Bob Dylan had recently released, but because Daniel Lanois’ production gave it cohesion.
While still deeply into the R&B/funk thing, Clarke's Time Exposure is a cut or two above its immediate neighbors in quality, thanks mostly to some superior tunesmithing on Clarke's part. The title track is the prize of the set and one of the best funk numbers of Clarke's career, an ingratiating fusion of a riff and a tune that won't quit the memory, set to a vigorous groove and hammered out by rock guitarist Jeff Beck. Even the obviously radio-minded ballad "Heaven Sent You" (a number 21 R&B hit) is a better-than-average bit of R&B writing – and here and elsewhere, Clarke wisely leaves the lead vocals mostly to others.
Stanley Clarke and George Duke,two musical titans who'd worked together for years finaly get around to doing a duo album, namely one that emphasises the funk that both artist's regular releases tended to skim over and considering funk is both artists best asset,that's a wonderful thing.
It is the album where this group drops its masks and speaks directly to the audience about themselves and each other.
Pornography is the fourth studio album. Recorded with the group on the brink of collapse, it represents the conclusion of the musical phase which began with Seventeen Seconds and Faith.
It may not be the classic sound of the band but it is an often rewarding and inspiring listen.
Todd Rundgren brought in legendary backup vocal duo Flo & Eddie as well as a cellist, two horn players, and himself on keyboards. The end result is simply fantastic, fusing the post-punk charge of the first two albums with a new synth-based approach that works wonders.