STLJN Audio Archive: Hamiet Bluiett - Endangered Species

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For this edition of the Audio Archive, we continue this weekend's focus on the great baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett by spotlighting Endangered Species, his recording debut as a leader.

Originally issued in 1976 by the now-defunct India Navigation label and out of print for many years, Endangered Species has been preserved online thanks to the efforts of music sharing blogs including Free The Music, where yr. humble StLJN editor found the file.

In addition to Bluiett on baritone sax and flute, the personnel on Endangered Species includes another St. Louis native, drummer Phillip Wilson, as well as Olu Dara (trumpet), Jumma Santos (balafon) and Junie Booth (bass). The album's tracks, all composed by Bluiett, are “Between the Raindrops," “Sobre Una Nube," “The Other Side of the World" and “Ayana Nneke."

Called “quite impressive" and “adventurous" by All Music Guide, Endangered Species was recorded after Bluiett left the employ of bassist Charles Mingus, right around the time he first joined forces with two other former St. Louisans, alto saxophonists Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill, and tenor saxophonist David Murray to form the World Saxophone Quartet. It's an important document in the career of the man that critics and fans have called the best baritone saxophonist of his generation, and you can download a copy of it for free here.

The StLJN Audio Archive links only to recordings that are out-of-print or that never have been commercially available. The purpose of the Audio Archive is to encourage discussion, appreciation and knowledge of St. Louis jazz artists, and we urge you to support them (or their estates) by purchasing authorized recordings and merchandise and, whenever possible, attending live performances.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

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