Make your own free website on Tripod.com
ARTHUR BLYTHE (Saxophonist, Composer)

BIOGRAPHY

Arthur Blythe, considered world-wide to be one of the most important and innovative alto saxophonists of out time, has not rested on
the laurels of an illustrious career that is the envy of anyone in jazz music. He has continued to push the parameters of what is already a
widely varied music with taste, beauty, passion, and an expressive and distinctive sound that not only makes him a true originator on his
instrument, but a creative force in demand by the greats of jazz. He has recorded and performed with McCoy Tyner, Gil Evans, Elvin
Jones, Chico Hamilton, Julius Hemphill, Woody Shaw, Jack DeJohnette, Archie Shepp, The Leaders, Chico Freeman, Lester
Bowie, Kirk Lightsey, Famadou Don Moye, Cecil McBee, David Sanborn, Steve Reid, Horace Tapscott, Azar Lawrence,
Charles Tyler, James Newton, The World Saxophone Quartet, Roots, Jeff Palmer, and Billy Hart.

Born in Los Angeles on May 7th, 1940 and raised in San Diego, Arthur began the quest for originality at an early age. he started playing
the alto saxophone at nine, and by the ripe old age of thirteen was working in a rhythm and blues band. One of the most amazing facts
about Mr. Blythe and the deep nature of his truely wonderful sound, is that he is still, after all of these years, playing the same
saxophone that he started on as a child. The love for that instrument and the incredible form of expression he has developed on it over
the years defies the more technical approach touted by other musicians. With Arthur it's sound, heart and ideas. . . all his.

The artists that greatly influenced him were Johnny Hodges, Earl Bostic, and Tab Smith. From listening to them on his mother's
record collection he infused their sounds with his own developing style, but it was the discovery of Thelonius Monk that sent him in a
direction that would bring him into the forefront of creativity. He soon discovered Cannonball Adderlly and John Coltrane, and began
developing as the player who would become their peer.

After moving to Los Angeles in the late 50's, Blythe indentified with the freewheeling avant-garde jazz scene and started working with
pianist/composer Horace Tapscott. In 1969 he made his recording debut on Tapscott's "THE GIANT IS AWAKENING". Around that
time Blythe started leading his own trios, touring the east coast and performing film and television soundtracks. "AS ABOVE, ALSO
BELOW" and "SWEET JESUS, PREACHER MAN", were films that featured his work, as well as a TV special "STORY OF OUR
LIVES" but in 1974 when he moved to New York, the reputation for excellence exploded.

Once in New York, Mr. Blythe expanded his horizons playing with the Chico Hamilton Band, the Gil Evans Orchestra, and led
recording dates for the India Navigation and Adelphi recording labels. His first two albums as a leader, "THE GRIP", and
"METAMORPHOSIS" were done "live" in 1977 during a concert at "The Brook" with Arthur's sextet. The same year he made his third
album "BUSH BABY" featuring his trio.

Blythe's innovative views of the tuba, cello, and percussion took jazz to another level. From Arthur's perspective, "The tuba is used to
recall the earliest New Orleans jazz, the cello represents the European influence, and the conga, the roots of the African experience."

In 1978, Mr. Blythe signed with CBS Records and made nine records which are among the best representations of recorded jazz.
"LENOX AVENUE BREAKDOWN", "IN THE TRADITION", "BLYTHE SPIRIT", "ELABORATIONS", all added to the praises for
original playing and creative composition. It was "LIGHT BLUE", featuring the music of Thelonius Monk, that defined the angularity
and range of Arthur's playing while providing a fitting tribute to that great composers' influence. The light and mobile approach to the
music made Arthur stand out as a innovative interpreter.

"I refuse to be bogged down. I'll leave as many options open as I can, and as many idioms," Arthur has been quoted as saying. "There
are different parts of playing, things that interest me rhythmically and conceptually that I want to pursue. I also try to be flexible, to let
the music dictate how I approach things."

"PUT SUNSHINE IN IT" became, as a project, Arthur's great urban/contemporary fusion experiment, and "DA DA" synthesized all of
his past experiences. "BASIC BLYTHE", a stunning tour-de-force sets the standard for using acoustic strings in jazz. "HIPMOTISM",
released on Enja Records, was another giant step in stylistic integrity for one of the completely different sounds on the alto saxophone.

Arthur Blythe has been on countless other albums, as a leader, as a band member, and as a guest, and always with the same focus.
When a top producer wants the incredible alto saxophone solo on demand, and a sound that will intrigue the listener with spirit and
sensitivity, they call Arthur. Instantly, the right flavor, the right mood, the right flair, and the guarantee that it will not sound like anyone
else.

Throughout a career that has boasted tours with the greatest musicians, membership in all-star bands that have been unequaled in music,
and leadership in unique expressions of music that can only be mimicked by people who would dare to be this original, Arthur Blythe
has never wavered in his self-determination. Arthur has maintained that the tuba/guitar/percussion ensemble, the piano quartet, and the
string sextet offers him a challenge that is creatively stimulating and audience satisfying. He is open, new and fresh about his music, and
while he is still a young man, here to grace our imaginations for a long time. "I'm learning, every time I play", Arthur has said. We are
learning every time we listen.

SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY
 
Horace Tapscott Sextet THE GIANT IS AWAKENING (Flying Dutch, '69)
Azar Lawrence BRIDGE INTO THE NEW AGE ('74)
Charles Tyler VOYAGE FROM JERICHO ('74)
Julius Hemphill COON BIDNESS (Arista, '75)
Steve Reid RHYTHMATISM (Mustovic, '75)
Chico Hamilton PEREGRINATIONS (Blue Note, 75)
Chico Hamilton AND THE PLAYERS (Blue Note, '76)
Chico Hamilton COONSKIN
Synthesis SENTIMENTS (RA 101, '76)
Gil Evans SYNTHETIC EVANS (Polijazz, '76) 
Gil Evans PRIESTESS (Antilles, '77)
Chico Hamilton CATWALK (Mercury, '77)
John Fisher 6x1 = 10 DUOS FOR A NEW DECADE (Re-Entry, '77)
Woody Shaw THE IRON MAN (Muse, '77)
Arthur Blythe THE GRIP (India Navigation, '77)
Arthur Blythe METAMORPHOSIS (India Navigation, '77)
Steve Reid ODYSSEY OF THE OBLONG SQUARE (Mustovic, '77)
Synthesis SIX BY SIX (Chiaroscuro, '77)
Arthur Blythe BUSH BABY (Adelphi, '78)
Dave Sanborn HEART TO HEART (Warner Bro's, '78)
Gil Evans AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL LONDON (RCA, '78)
Gil Evans THE REST OF GIL EVANS (Mole, -)
Lester Bowie AFRICAN CHILDREN (Horo, 78)
Lester Bowie THE FIFTH POWER (Black Saint, '78)
Barry Altschul ANOTHER TIME-ANOTHER PLACE (Muse, '78)
Sunny Murray APPLECORES (Philly Jazz, '78)
Gil Evans PARABOLA (Horo, '78)
Arthur Blythe LENOX ANENUE BREAKDOWN (CBS, '79)
Jack De Johnette SPECIAL EDITION (ECM, '79)
Rodney Jones ARTICULATION (Timeless, -)
Johnny Copeland COPELAND SPECIAL (Rounder, -)
McCoy Tyner 4 x 4 (Milestone, '79)
Various Artists KOOL-MONTREUX CONNECTION (CBS, '80)
Arthur Blythe IN THE TRADITION (CBS, '80)
Arthur Blythe ILLUSIONS (CBS, '80)
Arthur Blythe BLYTHE SPIRIT (CBS, '81)
Arthur Blythe ELABORATIONS (CBS, '82)
Arthur Blythe LIGHT BLUE (CBS, '83)
Arthur Blythe PUT SUNSHINE IN IT (CBS, '85)
Arthur Blythe DA DA (CBS, 85)
The Leaders MUDFOOT (Blackhawk, '86)
Gust William Taillis PALE FIRE (Enja, '86)
James Newton AFRICAN FLOWER (Blue Note, '86)
Arthur Blythe BASIC BLYTHE (CBS, '88) 
World Saxophone Quartet METAMORPHOSIS (Electra-Nonesuch, '90)
Cold Sweat PLAYS J.B. (JMT, '90)
The Leaders OUT HERE LIKE THIS (Black Saint, '90)
Arthur Blythe HIPMOTISM (Enja, 91)
McCoy Tyner 44TH STREET SUITE (Red Baron, '91)
The Leaders UNFORSEEN BLESSINGS (Black Saint, '91
Blythe/Freeman LUMINOUS (Ronnie Scott, -)
Roots SALUTES THE SAXOPHONE
Roots II
Jeff Palmer EASE ON (Audioquest Music, '93)
The Leaders Soon to be Released (Japanese Release)
World Saxophone Quartet Soon to be Released (Elektra-Nonesuch, -)
Blythe/DeBriano/Hart 3-OLOGY ('93)
Arthur Blythe RETROFLECTION (Enja, '94)



Click here to purchase Arthur's music at 88x31_03.gif or In Association    with Amazon.com & help support this site
The above biography and discography has been copied directly from Freewill Artistry's site.