C Jam Blues

Duke Ellington and Archie Shepp

It only happened once, Shepp sitting in with Duke

In 1969 during a concert in Paris, the avant-garde tenor-saxophonist Archie Shepp had an opportunity to play with Duke Ellington’s orchestra.

The version of “C Jam Blues” starts conventionally with a couple of rambunctious choruses from veteran trumpeter Cootie Williams and some New Orleans-style clarinet from Russell Procope.

To Procope’s apparent surprise, Archie Shepp joins in, taking a few choruses with the orchestra.

Then to Shepp’s surprise, trumpeter Cat Anderson steps up to the microphone and hits a variety of incredible high notes to bring the unique performance to a conclusion.

-Scott Yanow