Of all the African-American jazz musicians who arrived in Paris at the end of the '60s
Saxophonist Archie Shepp was arguably the most influential. Still resident in the French
capital to this day, he became an integral part of the European scene and struck fruitful
working relationships with the likes of German pianist Joachim Kuhn. Shepp also recorded
important albums for BYG, and Yasmina, A Black Woman is one of the most compelling from
both an intellectual and musical point of view.
The title track is a praise song for a 'soul sister' with an Afro-Arabic name, which signals a
move way from Eurocentricity or undue focus on the West. It features the kind of
impassioned playing from Shepp and a band that has a number of significant figures drawn
from very different scenes in the States. Saxophonist Hank Mobley and drummer Philly Joe
Jones, two of the great heroes of hard bop, found themselves alongside soloists frequently
associated with the avant-garde, such as pianist Dave Burrell, trumpeter Lester Bowie and
saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, the latter two being members of Art Ensemble Of Chicago. A
supergroup was in the group.