A superior alto saxophonist and flutist who can shift from bop and hard bop to very adventurous flights, James Spaulding gained his greatest recognition while a member of Freddie Hubbard's quintet in the mid-'60s. He studied at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music and then gigged and recorded regularly with Sun Ra during 1957-1961. During the 1960s, Spaulding (who worked with Max Roach and Randy Weston) was in demand not only by Hubbard, but for Blue Note recordings by Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Stanley Turrentine, and Larry Young, among others. He had stints during the next couple of decades with a wide variety of top artists, including Charles Tolliver, Bobby Hutcherson, David Murray, and (for a brief period) the World Saxophone Quartet, but is still vastly underrated. James Spaulding has recorded as a leader for Storyville (a Duke Ellington tribute set in 1976) and several dates for Muse (1988-1993).