Julius Hemphill / Jan 24, 1938 - Apr 2, 1995

The great reedsman and composer Julius Hemphill was a member of the collective Black Artists Group (B.A.G.) of St. Louis, and a founder of the World Saxophone Quartet, an all-sax ensemble that played and recontextualized many originals, standards and pop songs for wind only. Hemphill also played with Ike Turner, Anthony Braxton, Lester Bowie, Human Arts Ensemble and Bjork, as well as starting both a sax quintet and sextet. He had a harsh tone, with influence from African music to pop to avant-garde and theater. He can be heard often in the duo format. And like Braxton, his line-ups could include several unique combinations of players & instruments.

Check out Hemphill's excellent 1975 album 'Coon Bid'ness:

Tagged: avant-garde, Celebrate Icons, jazz, Julius Hemphill, out-jazz, reeds

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