Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Basic Beauty: Arthur Blythe on Columbia

Read "Basic Beauty: Arthur Blythe on Columbia" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Back in 2016, BGO Records started reissuing the complete works of alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe (1940-2017) on Columbia. The first volume containing Lenox Avenue Breakdown (1979), In the Tradition (1980), Illusions and Blythe Spirit (1981) has already been reviewed on AAJ. The following two volumes complete the project of putting an important body of work from one of the great, unsung saxophonists in jazz history back into circulation. Arthur Blythe Elaborations/Light Blue: Arthur Blythe Plays Thelonious ...

PROFILE

Arthur Blythe, 1940-2017: A Remembrance

Read "Arthur Blythe, 1940-2017: A Remembrance" reviewed by Todd S. Jenkins

The emotive power of Arthur Blythe's bracing alto saxophone tone and flighty phrasing set him apart from many of his generation. A poet, a muezzin, an angry activist, a lamenting lover: Blythe conjured a broad array of sonic images through his nonpareil approach to music. The beloved altoist, who had battled Parkinson's disease for the past several years, passed away on March 27, 2017 at the age of 76. Blythe's musical cohorts and fans remember him with deep ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown / In The Tradition / Illusions / Blythe Spirit

Read "Lenox Avenue Breakdown / In The Tradition / Illusions / Blythe Spirit" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Jazz-reissues are important because they help to write and rewrite jazz-history. Through reissues, the prominence of an artist is maintained and the canon is confirmed, but it can also be questioned and corrected. A double-disc from the excellent reissue label, BGO, brings four key records from leader and alto saxophonist, Arthur Blythe, back into circulation. The records, all released on Columbia, are: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (1979), In The Tradition (1980), Illusions (1980) and Blythe Spirit (1981). The ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Exhale

Read "Exhale" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Arthur Blythe continues his fruitful association with producer/drummer Cecil Brooks III on Exhale, his latest for the Savant label, also teaming up with longtime partner and tuba player Bob Stewart, plus John Hicks on piano. The eclectic playlist conveys the many facets of the musicians involved.

Coltrane's "Cousin Mary" gets the party started in swing time with Stewart pumping the bass line. Blythe sneaks a little 'Trane phrasing in, but stays true to himself. His short, full toned solo sets ...

INTERVIEW

A Fireside Chat With Arthur Blythe

Read "A Fireside Chat With Arthur Blythe" reviewed by AAJ Staff

At one time, Arthur Blythe was part of the Columbia machine (not unlike the Miramax machine, how else do you explain the Gangs of New York phenomenon). Then trends took precedent over music and a young Wynton over a middle-aged Blythe (so the urban legend goes). Blythe still managed to record a classic Lenox Avenue Breakdown. Blythe is a Horace Tapscott throwback, having worked with the late Tapscott early in his career. I spoke with Blythe and we talked about ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Focus

Read "Focus" reviewed by Todd S. Jenkins

After what many considered a dry period in the early 1990s, Arthur Blythe gently began his return to alto prominence through exotic collaborations with cellist David Eyges and mallets player Gust William Tsilis. Focus presents one of his most unusual ensembles since the early '80s tuba/cello/guitar quintet. The sparse, foreign sound of this new quartet takes a moment to adjust to, but after a short distance into “Opus 1” (a Blythe original, not the old Sy Oliver chestnut) we are ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arthur Blythe: Focus

Read "Focus" reviewed by Jon Wagner

Arthur Blythe has been busy. He has a new recording, and last month completed a stint with his quartet at the Jazz Standard. Blythe is living in his hometown San Diego again, so NYC jazz fans jumped at the rare opportunity to see him play live. The band - Blythe on alto, John Hicks on piano, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, and Cecil Brooks III on drums - was augmented by longtime Blythe collaborator Bob Stewart on tuba. Blythe's diverse repertoire ...


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