|Birth name||Arthur Murray Blythe|
|Also known as||Black Arthur|
|Born||July 5, 1940|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||March 27, 2017 76) (aged|
Lancaster, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, bandleader, composer|
|Labels||Columbia, Enja, Savant Records|
Arthur Murray Blythe (May 7, 1940 – March 27, 2017) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer. He was described by critic Chris Kelsey as displaying "one of the most easily recognizable alto sax sounds in jazz, big and round, with a fast, wide vibrato and an aggressive, precise manner of phrasing" and furthermore as straddling the avant garde and traditionalist jazz, often with bands featuring unusual instrumentation.
Born in Los Angeles, Blythe lived in San Diego, returning to Los Angeles when he was 19 years old.He took up the alto saxophone at the age of nine, playing R&B until his mid-teens when he discovered jazz. In the mid-1960s, Blythe was part of the Underground Musicians and Artists Association (UGMAA), founded by Horace Tapscott, on whose 1969 The Giant Is Awakened he made his recording debut.
After moving to New York in the mid-1970s, Blythe worked as a security guard before being offered a place as sideman for Chico Hamilton(1975–77). He subsequently played with Gil Evans' Orchestra (1976–78), Lester Bowie (1978), Jack DeJohnette (1979) and McCoy Tyner (also 1979). Blythe's group – John Hicks, Fred Hopkins and Steve McCall – played Carnegie Hall and the Village Vanguard in 1979.
In 1977, Blythe appeared on the LP Rhythmatism, a recording led by drummer Steve Reid. Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau highlighted Blythe's "forceful" alto-saxophone playing and said, "like so many of the new players Blythe isn't limited to modern methods by his modernism—he favors fluent, straight-ahead Coltrane modalities, but also demonstrates why he belongs on a tune for Cannonball."
Blythe began to record as a leader in 1977 for the India Navigation label and then for Columbia Records from 1978 to 1987. Bob Stewart's tuba was a regular feature of these albums, often taking the place of the more traditional string bass. Albums such as The Grip and Metamorphosis (both on the label) offered capable, highly refined jazz fare with a free angle which seemed "out there".[ original research? ] Blythe played on many pivotal albums of the 1980s, among them Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition on ECM. Blythe was a member of the all-star jazz group The Leaders and joined the World Saxophone Quartet after the departure of Julius Hemphill . Beginning in 2000 he made recordings on Savant Records which included Exhale (2003) with John Hicks (piano), Bob Stewart (tuba), and Cecil Brooks III (drums).[ citation needed ]
Blythe died from complications of Parkinson's disease in Lancaster, California, at the age of 76.
|1977||The Grip||India Navigation|
|1978||In the Tradition||Columbia|
|1978||Lenox Avenue Breakdown||Columbia|
|1983||Light Blue: Arthur Blythe Plays Thelonious Monk||Columbia|
|1984||Put Sunshine in It||Columbia|
|1996||Synergy||In + Out|
|2000||Spirits in the Field||Savant|
With The Leaders
With Santi Debriano and Billy Hart
With Jeff Palmer, John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis
With David Eyges and Bruce Ditmas
With John Abercrombie, Terri Lyne Carrington, Anthony Cox, Mark Feldman, Gust Tsilis
With Joey Baron
With Lester Bowie
With Jack DeJohnette
With Gil Evans
With John Fischer
With Chico Freeman
With Chico Hamilton
With Craig Harris
With Julius Hemphill
With Azar Lawrence
With the Music Revelation Ensemble
With Woody Shaw
With Horace Tapscott
With Gust William Tsilis & Alithea
With McCoy Tyner
With the World Saxophone Quartet
Steve Lacy, born Steven Norman Lackritz in New York City, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer recognized as one of the important players of soprano saxophone. Coming to prominence in the 1950s as a progressive dixieland musician, Lacy went on to a long and prolific career. He worked extensively in experimental jazz and to a lesser extent in free improvisation, but Lacy's music was typically melodic and tightly-structured. Lacy also became a highly distinctive composer, with compositions often built out of little more than a single questioning phrase, repeated several times.
Jack DeJohnette is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer.
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Mudfoot is the debut album by the all-star jazz group The Leaders released on the Black Hawk label in 1986. The album features performances by Lester Bowie, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Cecil McBee, Kirk Lightsey and Don Moye.
Special Edition is an album by Jack DeJohnette featuring David Murray, Arthur Blythe and Peter Warren recorded in 1979 released on the ECM label in 1980. The AllMusic review by Scott Yanow states, "The first of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition ensembles offered a sound that in many ways was revolutionary in modern contemporary and creative improvised music circa 1980... This CD deserves a definitive five-star rating for the lofty place it commands in the evolution of jazz headed toward new heights and horizons". A JazzTimes reviewer selected it in 2012 as one of DeJohnette's key albums.
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Sweet Basil was a jazz club in New York City's Greenwich Village, located at 88 7th Avenue South. Founded in 1974 by Sharif Esmat, it was considered among the most prominent jazz clubs in New York. Many jazz albums were recorded live at Sweet Basil, including Cecil Taylor's Iwontunwonsi, McCoy Tyner's Live at Sweet Basil (1989) and Solar: Live at Sweet Basil, and the Jean-Michel Pilc Trio's Together: Live at Sweet Basil. From 1981 to 1992 the club was owned by Phyllis Litoff and her husband Mel Litoff.
Parabola is a double album by jazz composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Gil Evans recorded in Italy in 1978 by Evans with an orchestra featuring Arthur Blythe, Steve Lacy and Lew Soloff and released on the Italian Horo label.
Gil Evans Live at the Royal Festival Hall London 1978 is a live album by jazz composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Gil Evans recorded in London in 1978 by Evans with an orchestra featuring Arthur Blythe, George Adams, and Lew Soloff and released on RCA label.
In the Name of... is an album by James Blood Ulmer's Music Revelation Ensemble, with guest saxophonist Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe and Hamiet Bluiett, recorded in 1993 and released on the Japanese DIW label.
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