Julius Hemphill: Dogon A. D.

Album review
Julius Hemphill: Dogon A. D.

Julius Hemphill

Dogon A. D.

Label: Arista Freedom
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

Alto saxophonist/flutist Julius Hemphill moved to St. Louis from Texas in 1968, and immediately threw himself into the very active creative music scene there. Nothing he would produce later had the raw power of his early work, which combined an avant garde sensibility with a feeling for blues playing as deep as any Texas saxophonist from Arnett Cobb to Ornette Coleman. As the title of this debut recording indicates, Hemphill also drew inspiration from Mother Africa. His most effective musical partner in this evocation of ancient musical roots was, curiously enough, cellist Abdul Wadud, who could make his axe combine the functions of a jazz bass and a Mississippi Delta guitarist. Drummer Philip Wilson and trumpeter Baikida Carroll fit in perfectly, with the horns blowing long but strongly-rooted solos over Wadud’s insistent bass figures and Wilson’s spare commentary. But there are also passages of very complex counterpoint. For the last track, “The Hard Blues,” baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett is added, and it’s amazing how much fuller the ensemble sounds. This track did not appear on the original and, incredibly, this is the first time this masterpiece has ever been issued on CD, and hence the first time all the material has been assembled on one release

More Info

  • primary artist, Julius Hemphill
  • CD

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