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The Smile of the Snake

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Album Review

One of the most underrated saxophonists of the post-1960 era, James Spaulding has long been a passionate postbop altoist and a warm flutist. On this superior outing he is heard in top form on both of his axes (plus two appearances on bass flute) in a quartet with pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Tony Reedus. Producer Donald Sickler helped advise Spaulding on the material and the result is a high-quality set of obscurities by Wyands, McClure, Clifford Jordan, Donald Brown, Geoff Keezer and Idrees Sulieman. Spaulding digs into the songs, displays a great deal of versatility and certainly has his fiery moments. One of James Spaulding's finest allround recordings.


Born: 30 July 1937 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A superior alto saxophonist and flutist who can shift from bop and hard bop to very adventurous flights, James Spaulding gained his greatest recognition while a member of Freddie Hubbard's quintet in the mid-'60s. He studied at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music and then gigged and recorded regularly with Sun Ra during 1957-1961. During the 1960s, Spaulding (who worked with Max Roach and Randy Weston) was in demand not only by Hubbard, but for Blue Note recordings by Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter,...
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The Smile of the Snake, James Spaulding
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  • $16.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 15 July 1997

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