The arrival of a great altoist, composer and avant-gardist.
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 02/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Has there ever been a generation of alto sax players like the one that came to prominence in the late sixties and seventies? Anthony Braxton, Julius Hemphill, Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake and the subject of this review, Arthur Blythe. This album announced the arrival of a mature and individual composer/soloist, one with an absoloutely unique tone.
Of all the above mentioned artists, Blythe may be the most approachable for the uninitiated. His soloing is very melodic and the overall logic of his solos is easier to hear, at least, for me.
His band on this CD is delightful: Bob Stewart on the tuba (along with Threadgill, Blythe seems to me to be one of the composers most responsible for bringing the tuba back to prominence in jazz- he just seems to hear it as his bass voice), Ahmed Abdullah on the trumpet, Abdul Wadud on the cello, Steve Reid on the drums and Muhamad Abdullah on percussion. Overall the sound is unique and very rhythmic. This band throbs and that pushes all the soloists.
For me, this CD is a classic introduction to one of the greatest altoists currently on the scene. Other albums of Blythe's that are worth owning are Illusions and Lennox Ave. Breakdown."