James Spaulding (b. July 30, 1937 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a jazz alto saxophonist and flautist.
After a period in the US Army he moved to Chicago in 1957 when his appearances include credits with Sun Ra's Arkestra (as early as 1958).
For much of the 1960s, he was one of the busiest sidemen on Blue Note Records appearing beside Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Grant Green, Duke Pearson, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach, Hank Mobley, Larry Young, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, Horace Silver, and Lee Morgan (amongst many others).
Spaulding remained active throughout the 1970s. It was during this decade that he began to release works as band-leader/composer, including a tribute to Duke Ellington (James Spaulding Plays the Legacy of Duke Ellington), and several records including narration: Murder at Kent State University, Massacre at My Lai, and The Giving Tree.
The 1980s through the 2000s has been slower in terms of output, compared to the 1960s. Spaulding continued to release his own works and has performed live as recently as 2007.
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