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Reissuing 7 Black Saint albums from the WSQ (Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, David Murray, Julius Hemphill): Point Of No Return; Steppin' With The WSQ; W.S.Q.; Revue; Live In Zurich; Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Moving Right Along.

World Saxophone Quartet
The Complete Remastered Recordings [6 CDs]

World Saxophone Quartet: The Complete Remastered Recordings [6 CDs] (Black Saint/Soul Note)
Label: Black Saint/Soul Note    
Released in: Italy    

Reissuing 7 Black Saint albums from the WSQ (Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, David Murray, Julius Hemphill): Point Of No Return; Steppin´With The World Saxophone Quarter; W.S.Q.; Revue; Live In Zurich; Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Moving Right Along.

"Probably the first of several saxophone-only ensembles who proliferated in jazz after 1975, the WSQ is unquestionably the most commercially (and, arguably, the most creatively) successful. Of course, commercial success is a relative thing in jazz, especially when one is speaking of an avant-garde group. But unlike most free jazz artists, the WSQ managed to attract an audience of significant size; large enough to have garnered a major-label record deal in the '80s, an almost unheard-of occurrence in that retro-jazz decade. The band did it on merit, too, with only a hint of compromise (manifested mainly by albums of R&B and Duke Ellington covers). By the time their first record on Elektra/Musician came out in 1986, the band had evolved from their fire-breathing, free-improvising, ad-hoc beginnings into a smooth-playing, compositionally minded, well-rehearsed band. At their creative peak, the group melded jazz-based, harmonically adventurous improvisation with sophisticated composition. All of the group's original members (Julius Hemphill, alto; Oliver Lake, alto; David Murray, tenor; and Hamiet Bluiett, baritone) were estimable composers as well as improvisers. Each complimented the whole, making them even greater than the considerable sum of their parts. As a composer, Hemphill drew on European techniques (though his tunes were not without an unalloyed jazz component), while Bluiett was steeped in blues and funk. Lake and Murray fell somewhere in between. As soloists and writers, the early WSQ covered all the bases.

The WSQ were founded in 1976 after the four original members (all of them well-established solo artists) accepted an offer by Ed Jordan, the chairman of the music department at Southern University in New Orleans, to conduct a series of clinics and performances with and without a local rhythm section. The enthusiastic audience response to the unaccompanied saxophones convinced the musicians to develop the concept. They played a gig at the (now defunct) Tin Palace in New York, calling the group the Real New York Saxophone Quartet. They were later forced to change the name after reportedly being threatened with a lawsuit by the preexisting New York Saxophone Quartet; hence, the World Saxophone Quartet. In 1977, the band recorded their first album, an almost completely improvised effort called Point of No Return, for the Moers Music label. Later releases on Black Saint document the band's increasing interest in composition. The membership stayed constant until Hemphill's departure in 1989. Arthur Blythe was the first of Hemphill's several replacements. Blythe was with the band from 1990-1992, and from 1994-1995. James Spaulding joined briefly in 1993, and was quickly replaced by Eric Person. In 1996, after Blythe's second tenure, John Purcell took and held the chair.

Although they're a sax-oriented group, the WSQ's members have been multi-instrumentalists. The band always incorporated a wide variety of woodwinds into their sound. After Rhythm & Blues (1986, Elektra/Musician), the WSQ began using other musicians in their recordings and performances. Metamorphosis (1990, Elektra/Musician) added African drummers and electric bassist Melvin Gibbs. Later records utilized pianists, vocalists, bassists, and drummers. In adding other musicians, the band sacrificed part of their distinctiveness. The novelty of the band's original approach, and their ability to swing so hard sans rhythm, set them apart. By the end of the '90s, the WSQ had lost their major-label deal and much of their identity."-Chris Kelsey, All Music

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Box Sets
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Quintet Recordings

Get additional information at All Music

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Price: $34.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 7.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 8052405140418

Label: Black Saint/Soul Note
Catalog ID: BXS 1015CD
Squidco Product Code: 16165

Format: 6 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: Italy
Packaging: 6 CD Box Set
Point Of No Return recorded in December 1978 at Ricordi Studios, Milano; Steppin´With The World Saxophone Quartet recorded in December 1978 at Ricordi Studios, Milano; W.S.Q. originally released in 1981 on LP on the Black Saint label; Revue recorded October 14, 1980 at Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris. Live In Zurich recorded Live November 6, 1981 at Jazz Festival, Zurich; Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music released in 1993 on Black Saint as 120096; Moving Right Along Recorded on October 18 and 19, 1993.


World Saxophone Quartet:

Hamiet Bluiett

Julius Hemphill

Oliver Lake

David Murray

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Track Listing:

CD 1: Steppin' With The World Saxophone Quartet

1. Steppin'

2. Ra-Ta-Ta

3. Dream Scheme

4. P.O in Cairo

5. Hearts


CD 2: W.S.Q.

1. Sundance

2. Plain Song

3. Connections

4. W.S.Q.

5. Pillars Latino

6. Suite Music

7. Sound Light

8. Fast Life

CD 3: Revue

1. Revue

2. Affairs Of The Heart

3. Slide

4. Little Samba

5. I Heard That

6. Hymn For The Old Year

7. Ming

8. David's Tune

9. Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church

CD 4: Live In Zurich

1. Hattie Wall

2. Funny Paper

3. Touchic

4. My First Winter

5. Bordertown

6. Steppin'

7. Stick

8. Hattie Wall

CD 5: Live At Brooklyn Academy Of Music

1. One/Waltz/Time

2. Great Peace

3. Kind'a Up

4. Paper Works

5. Open Air

6. Georgia Blue

CD 6: Moving Right Along

1. Antithesis

2. Baba

3. N.T.

4. Astral Travels

5. Land Of Mistery

6. Moving On

7. Amazing Grace Part I

8. Giant Steps

9. Urban

10. Sharrod

11. M.I.L.D.

12. Lighting and Thunder

13. Amazing Grace Part II

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