Arthur Blythe

Blythe Spirit

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This is one of the most well-rounded Arthur Blythe records from his Columbia period. The distinctive altoist performs three passionate originals and an unlikely version of "Strike Up The Band" with a quintet also including cellist Abdul Wadud, guitarist Kelvyn Bell, Bob Stewart on tuba and drummer Bobby Battle. In addition he is featured on "Misty" with a more conventional trio (pianist John Hicks, bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall), plays his "Spirits In The Field" with Wadud and Stewart, and is quite effective on a reverent but swinging rendition of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" with Stewart and organist Amina Claudine Myers. One of many Columbia LP's long overdue to be reissued on CD, this is a fairly definitive Arthur Blythe recording, showing off his links to hard bop, r&b and the avant-garde.

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