Eden ahbez nature boy edens island the music of an enchanted isle

In 1967, the Human Be-In, a youth rally held in San Francisco popularized hippie culture, opening the way for the legendary Summer of Love in the summer of 1967, on the west coast of the United States, and the Woodstock Festival in ‘summer of 1969, on the east coast. The revolution expanded like wildfire around the globe. The hippy fashion and values had a significant impact on culture, music, television, film, literature and art in general. Since the 60’s, many aspects of hippy culture have become common. From 1965 hippies became a well-defined social group and the movement spread to other countries, before declining in the second half of 70’s.

This 1996 set features tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp with pianist John Hicks, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Idris Muhammad playing an inspired set of ballads. And while it's true that this is what Shepp seems to have done since 1990, giving plenty of credence to the critical notion that the fire has gone out of his playing, it's more a question of perspective than lack. As evidenced here on the opening number alone, a smoky, steamy rendition of "The Thrill Is Gone" that could have ended up in anybody's film noir, Shepp's fire may not burn angrily, but it burns low, deep, and hot just the same. The tenor player once said that you could hear every minute of every hour a musician put into practice when he played a ballad. That's certainly true here, and the answer is more than you could ever imagine. The inflection of Shepp's horn that moves somewhere between the deep, robust speech of John Coltrane and the shimmering soulful whisper of Ben Webster. If you check he and Hick's wandering around each other in the middle of "Nature Boy," or on Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow of Your Smile," you get a picture of a pair so intent on listening to the nuances in a change or harmonic syllable, that they know exactly how to aurally illustrate the bigger picture to a listener. With Muhammad on drums there is a certain laid-back groove that's organic in every number, and in Mraz, without his slim tone but silvery fingers, there's a polished elegance that makes the entire package Shepp's finest ballad date ever.

“I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.”

Eden Ahbez Nature Boy Edens Island The Music Of An Enchanted IsleEden Ahbez Nature Boy Edens Island The Music Of An Enchanted IsleEden Ahbez Nature Boy Edens Island The Music Of An Enchanted IsleEden Ahbez Nature Boy Edens Island The Music Of An Enchanted Isle