Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu the Fudgemunk Ocean Bridges
A delightfully swinging hip-hop-meets-jazz excursion that sounds composed yet is completely improvised.
Ocean Bridges features tenor great Archie Shepp; his nephew, rapper Raw Poetic; and Earl “Damu the Fudgemunk” Davis on drums, vibraphone, vocals, and turntable. The leaders are accompanied by Pat Fritz on guitar, Aaron Gause on Wurlitzer and synth, Luke Stewart on bass, Jamal Moore on tenor sax and percussion, and Bashi Rose on drums, who trade grooves, raps, and spoken-word incitements, with Shepp’s sage playing and recollections enriching the music’s presence. Purring more than hard blowing, Shepp guides the amiable, extremely competent musicians, all possessing big ears and mercurial talent. “Professor Shepp’s Agenda 3” bubbles and brews over Rose’s choogling rim click pattern, while on “Professor Shepp’s Agenda 1” Shepp critiques U.S. education over changing jazz atmospheres. “Tulips” offers flowing free funk, floating/stumbling hip-hop drives the raps of “Moving Maps,” and “Searching Souls” hovers free and quaking, citing “a time for war and a time for peace.” (Redefinition) Ken Micallef