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Live In Zurich

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Album Review

By 1981, after four years of existence, it was obvious that the most talented writer in the World Saxophone Quartet was altoist Julius Hemphill. This Black Saint release finds Hemphill contributing six of the eight pieces (the other two are by Hamiet Bluiett), including the hard-swinging "Bordertown," the colorful "Steppin" and a vivid feature for David Murray's tenor on "My First Winter." A particularly strong release by a classic and innovative group.


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...
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Live In Zurich, World Saxophone Quartet
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