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Live At Carlos I: Last Night

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Album Review

Three CDs' worth of material was recorded in 1986 by a band that was only together for one week, time spent playing at a short-lived New York club called Carlos I. In fact, the full group actually played together for less than a week, for, unlike other volumes that feature Don Pullen on piano, this CD has pianist Mulgrew Miller. Otherwise the quintet is still comprised of baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bey on ashiko drum. The group plays three Bluiett originals (including the Coltrane-ish blues "John" and "Wide Open"), a rather explorative version of "Sophisticated Lady," and Miller's "Eastern Joy," which hints strongly at music of the Far East. Although Miller does not fit into the band quite as well as Pullen (his McCoy Tyner-inspired playing sounds a bit conservative compared to Bluiett and Hopkins), there is plenty of spirit to this music. All three discs from this one-time gig are recommended to fans of the great baritonist Hamiet Bluiett.


Born: 16 September 1940 in Lovejoy, IL

Genre: Jazz

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

The most prominent baritone saxophonist of his generation, Hamiet Bluiett combines a blunt, modestly inflected attack with a fleet, aggressive technique, and (maybe most importantly) a uniform hugeness of sound that extends from his horn's lowest reaches to far beyond what is usually its highest register. Probably no other baritonist has played so high, with so much control; Bluiett's range travels upward into an area usually reserved for the soprano or even sopranino. His technical mastery aside,...
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Live At Carlos I: Last Night, Hamiet Bluiett
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