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Album Review

There is plenty of variety to the third album by the unique World Saxophone Quartet. The music ranges from nearly free improvisations to the four-part "Suite Music," which was almost completely written out. Rather than being a screamfest for the four innovative saxophonists (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, altoists Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake and tenor saxophonist David Murray, all of whom double on other reeds), this is a well constructed and sometimes surprisingly accessible (although always explorative) program.

Biography

Formed: 1977

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
Full bio
W.s.q., World Saxophone Quartet
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