Exhale

Exhale

by Arthur Blythe
     
 
Don’t ever write off Arthur Blythe. This fantastically talented alto saxophonist, now in his 60s, is playing as well as ever, as evidenced by this exuberant project, which pairs him with three of his most familiar longtime associates: pianist John Hicks, tubist Bob Stewart, and drummer Cecil Brooks lll. In this comfortable setting, Blythe sounds relaxed yet

Overview

Don’t ever write off Arthur Blythe. This fantastically talented alto saxophonist, now in his 60s, is playing as well as ever, as evidenced by this exuberant project, which pairs him with three of his most familiar longtime associates: pianist John Hicks, tubist Bob Stewart, and drummer Cecil Brooks lll. In this comfortable setting, Blythe sounds relaxed yet consistently inventive, alert, and in possession of an utterly individual tone. The blues remains on the altoist’s mind, as it should, Blythe takes to the form the way nearly all classic jazz players do. He also sketches ballads and roams through other musical settings with the assurance and style that first came to us fully blown in the mid-1970s. Blythe may pop on and off the radar, but Exhale gives evidence that he’s still in fighting shape, poised for another comeback.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Arthur Blythe's alto saxophone was first heard in combination with Bob Stewart's tuba during the late '70s on Blythe's earliest albums Metamorphosis, The Grip, and Bush Baby. Exhale, which was released by Savant Records in 2003, was something like the 14th Blythe album to feature Stewart on the big horn. Stewart's pre-Blythe adventures included dates with Taj Mahal, the JCOA, Charles Mingus, Lester Bowie, Sam Rivers, and Gil Evans. His muscular bass clef virtuosity has always proven peculiarly well suited for interaction with Blythe's soulful soaring alto sax. The other half of the unit responsible for Exhale consisted of pianist John Hicks and drummer Cecil Brooks III. In addition to several tracks designated as movements of "Exhaust Suite" (with Hicks crossing over to Hammond organ), the group revisited a fine bouquet of standards by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Forrest, and Nat King Cole. This enjoyable album's playlist also includes a glowing interpretation of "Just Friends" and, best of all perhaps, a pair of extended outings on "All Blues" and "Equinox." As was the case with his 2001 Savant release Blythe Byte, the title track on Exhale is a miniature that takes less than one minute to experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/17/2003
Label:
Savant
UPC:
0633842205021
catalogNumber:
2050
Rank:
120021

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