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World Saxophone Quartet


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The World Saxophone Quartet is an avant-garde jazz group founded in 1977, implementing elements of free funk and African jazz into their musical routines.

The original members were Julius Hemphill (alto and soprano saxophone, flute), Oliver Lake (alto and soprano saxophone), Hamiet Bluiett (baritone saxophone, alto clarinet), and David Murray (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet). The first three had worked together as members of the Black Artists’ Group in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1989, Hemphill left the group due to illness, and several saxophonists have filled his chair in the years since. The first of these was Arthur Blythe, followed by Eric Person, James Spaulding, and John Purcell.

The group principally recorded and performed as a saxophone quartet, usually with a lineup of two altos, tenor, and baritone (reflecting the composition of a classical string quartet), but were also joined occasionally by drummers, bassists, and other musicians.


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  • jakobdorof

    got some nice jams

    24 Apr 2011 Reply
  • gakko

    You are not really clear, my dear Watson. Is this a Hendrix tune? I thought it was a shoutbox for WSQ.

    9 Aug 2009 Reply
  • kreisky

    Even if i love sax..this is a devastating treatment to a Hendrix tune

    30 Aug 2006 Reply