This guy, like Monk, could take a familiar form, open it up, and create something both old and new.
Julius Hemphill (1938-1995), “The Hard Blues”
Live (with members of the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and the Either/Orchestra), Boston, 1989
Recording (JH, alto saxophone, flute; Baikida E.J. Carroll, trumpet; Hamiet Bluiett, baritone saxophone; Abdul Wadud, cello; Philip Wilson, drums), recorded 1972 (first released on Coon Bid’ness, 1975)
Recording (Julius Hemphill, alto saxophone; Marty Ehrlich, soprano and alto saxophone, flute; Carl Grubbs, soprano and alto saxophone; James Carter, tenor saxophone; Andrew White. tenor saxophone; Sam Furnace, baritone saxophone, flute), 1991
Helen Levitt (1913-2009), New York, c. 1940
Julius Hemphill (alto saxophone), with Abdul Wadud (cello), Baikida E.J. Carroll (trumpet), Phillip Wilson (drums), “Dogon A.D.” (Dogon A.D.), 1972
The drumming is genius—he’s like the Zigaboo Modeliste of free-jazz. . . . Any musician who doesn’t like this should just stop—this is what it’s all about. It’s such a raw sound, right up in your face. This is the perfect introduction to someone who’s never heard free-jazz before. I wouldn’t mind if this piece went on for a couple hours.