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Fat Man and the Hard Blues

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Album Review

After leaving the World Saxophone Quartet, the innovative altoist/composer Julius Hemphill recorded with an unaccompanied sax sextet. This CD features such great players as Marty Ehrlich, Carl Grubbs, the young James Carter, Andrew White, and baritonist Sam Furnace along with the leader on 14 of Hemphill's compositions. These miniatures (all under seven minutes) are most notable for their fresh melodies, logical arrangements, and spirited ensembles.


Born: January 24, 1938 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Jazz

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

Hemphill was best known for his work with the World Saxophone Quartet -- he was arguably the band's most distinctive writer -- but his work as an improvising saxophonist and composer encompassed a variety of other contexts over the course of his career. Hemphill worked with everything from big bands to duos; he especially excelled at composing for unusual instrumental combinations. Hemphill's primary instrument was the alto; he had a huge, somewhat harsh tone, almost as if he were playing a horn...
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Fat Man and the Hard Blues, Julius Hemphill
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