Dances and Ballads

World Saxophone Quartet

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Dances and Ballads Review

by Scott Yanow

For this 1987 release, the World Saxophone Quartet performs ten group originals: three apiece by tenor saxophonist David Murray and altoist Oliver Lake and two by baritonist Hamiet Bluiett and altoist Julius Hemphill. Celebrating its tenth year as a part-time group at the time, the WSQ was not as radical as ROVA, but their mixture of melodies and abstraction, rhythms and adventure were still quite appealing and filled their own niche. This is an underrated release, recorded between their better-known Plays Duke Ellington and Rhythm and Blues CDs.

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