Bennie Maupin Early Reflections Cryptogramophone 2008 Bennie Maupin The Jewel In The Lotus ECM 2007
The reascendence of Bennie Maupin is a heartening story. After an almost 15-year period (1965-1979 in recorded terms) when the saxophonist was one of the most exciting players in jazz and graced a remarkably wide range of albums, Maupin's star dimmed as it has for so many others in jazz. After a bleak '80s decade and ...read more
After establishing his reputation in the 1960s and 1970s with artists including Miles Davis, Andrew Hill and Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin mysteriously disappeared for over a decade. Re-emerging in the 1990s, it's still only been recently--with the release of the overdue reissue of his 1974 ECM classic, The Jewel in the Lotus in 2007, and his first album as a leader in eight years, the sublime Penumbra (Cryptogramophone, 2006)--that the woodwind multi-instrumentalist has returned to greater visibility. Early Reflections's instrumentation may be a more conventional setting than Penumbra's woodwinds/bass/drums/percussion line-up, but it's just as fine, its generally subdued tone broken ...read more
For the collector, a first-time issue on CD of any of ECM's early releases is most welcome. Which ones are chosen for release--and when they are issued--may well appear to be arbitrary to the outsider, despite a certain plan internal to the label.That The Jewel In The Lotus, first released in 1974, has finally been issued on CD is worth celebrating for two reasons: first, the music is of the highest quality; and second, Bennie Maupin has not recorded much as a leader, with Penumbra (Cryptogramophone, 2006) and Driving While Black (Intuition, 1997) his most recent releases.read more
Of the ECM titles that have remained unavailable on CD, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Bennie Maupin's The Jewel in the Lotus (1974) has long been considered a holy grail for collectors in search of a vinyl copy, and a title that's been on many fans' wish lists for release on CD. Well, it's finally happened and it's been worth the wait. Those familiar will recognize it as still classic thirty years on; for those unfamiliar with its magic, it's time to get acquainted.
Fellow Headhunter Herbie Hancock--appearing here alongside another Headhunter member, percussionist Bill Summers--was pursuing more groove-centric ...read more
One of the true challenges faced by the creative artist is the need to evolve over the course of a career, to respect the past while staring unflinchingly toward the future. This is especially true of improvising musicians, who do this while inextricably in the moment, creating structure from chaos, revealing the future in the blinding light of the present. Multi-instrumentalist Bennie Maupin takes on this challenge with Penumbra, a release that marks him as one of the true visionaries living today. Maupin is no stranger to jazz stages; he's been performing professionally for almost fifty years. He's kept a ...read more
In AllAboutJazz-New York's Best of 2006 spread, three of the four Best Album lists included Bennie Maupin's Penumbra. The disc was his first since 1998's Driving While Black (Intuition), an album few in the jazz world really knew. A listener would have to go back to the '70s when Maupin released a couple of funk albums for Mercury or perhaps even earlier to his 1974 ECM debut The Jewel in the Lotus to find Maupin the leader, the composer, given a proper forum in which to work. Maupin, who grew up in Detroit, is one of those puzzling ...read more
For forty years, Bennie Maupin has played with the giants of jazz, starting with Roy Haynes, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, and Marion Brown. A call from Miles Davis put Maupin in the line up that recorded his most earth shaking albums including Bitches Brew (Columbia/Legacy, 1969), Big Fun (Columbia/Legacy, 1974) and On the Corner (Columbia/Legacy, 1972).
His instantly recognizable bass clarinet prowled the lower clef like a barracuda. After working with several Herbie Hancock projects, including his long term associations with the Headhunters, Maupin uprooted from NY to move to LA. While living a charmed life as a ...read more