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World Saxophone Quartet: Experience

Jim Santella By

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The World Saxophone Quartet has never sounded better. It’s all about the music. With their eighth Justin Time album, they’ve rediscovered a source that has inspired generations. Although Jimi Hendrix passed in 1970, his music has stayed with us through thick and thin. How could we have ever survived Vietnam without his music? Two Gulf wars and numerous tragedies, both home and abroad, have left their mark on our existence. Through it all, several generations have been fortunate to have the Jimi Hendrix Experience on their side.

Bluiett, who worked with Charles Mingus in the early 1970s, founded the WSQ in 1976 along with Julius Hemphill, David Murray and Oliver Lake. Their collective experience, since the quartet’s inception, has combined elements of progressive jazz, soulful blues, and swinging hard rock. The force is there: in your face.

A younger generation has joined the WSQ for this tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Bassist Matthew Garrison is the son of Jimmy Garrison, the memorable straight-ahead jazz bassist who completed John Coltrane’s quartet along with Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner. The younger Garrison supports this quartet with a strong foundation that embellishes, but does not interfere with the ensemble’s progressive state of affairs. Oliver Lake’s son, Gene, holds down the drum chair with aplomb. His riveting posture adds to the rock experience, and turns particularly forceful on the fiery “Machine Gun.”

With nearly two dozen albums to its credit, the World Saxophone Quartet combines veteran composure with fresh ideas. Craig Harris and Billy Bang introduce added excitement. The quartet’s four-part harmony (and disharmony) works wonders for the soul. Their music lets you escape from a humdrum routine and from all the usual sources for worry. With this Experience , you're in for a world class treat.


Track Listing: Freedom; If 6 Was 9; Hey Joe; Machine Gun; Little Wing; Foxey Lady; Hear My Train a Comin

Personnel: David Murray- tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Bluiett- baritone saxophone; Oliver Lake- alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bruce Williams- soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Gene Lake- drums; Matthew Garrison- bass guitar; Craig Harris- didgeridoo on

Title: Experience | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Justin Time Records

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