World Saxophone Quartet: Take the A Train (1986)

 |   |  <1 min read

World Saxophone Quartet: Take the A Train (1986)

One of the most innovative and sometimes daring jazz groups around, World Saxophone Quartet was an implosion of individual talents: Julius Hemphill (alto), Oliver Lake (alto), David Murray (tenor) and Hamiet Bluiett (baritone).

Each of them had come into jazz from an angle of post-bop and often free playing, and their subsequent careers took them in very different directions again, notably Lake who recorded some reggae-influenced, almost jazz-pop albums in the Eighties.

And for their album World Saxophone Plays Duke Ellington, from which this is lifted, they paid a distinctive tribute to one of the jazz greats.

But even in this piece, a miniature masterpiece of layered lines and ensemble playing, you can hear those free elements coming through.

Hard to believe also, but a version of the WSQ (with others sitting in for Hemplill who left due to illness and died in '95) is still sometimes performing today, almost 35 years after they first formed.

And check out who they are playing in the clip below. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Howard Tate: Keep Cool (1972)

Howard Tate: Keep Cool (1972)

In this column about shameful record covers I'm proud to own, I noted you should never judge Eastern European -- or bellydance -- albums by their covers. They are often an afterthought and the... > Read more

Leonard Cohen: Avalanche (1971)

Leonard Cohen: Avalanche (1971)

In the course of sometimes interesting, occasionally haywire Q&A session after the screening of the film 20,000 Days on Earth in Auckland, Nick Cave was asked if he'd ever met Leonard Cohen and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

YVES SAINT LAURENT (2013): Our man in Marrakech

YVES SAINT LAURENT (2013): Our man in Marrakech

While there's no argument about the genius of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the jury is still out over his artwork. In my family, at least. After a visit to Jardin Majorelle in... > Read more

Sue and Horst's Famous Persimmon Cream Pie

Sue and Horst's Famous Persimmon Cream Pie

When you've got in-laws who have a large persimmon orchard you tend to learn all kinds of things that can be done with the underrated persimmon. My father-in-law Horst slices ripe ones and... > Read more