ARTHUR BLYTHE — Spirit

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ARTHUR BLYTHE - Spirit cover
3.57 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1981

Filed under Post Bop
By ARTHUR BLYTHE

Tracklist

A1 Contemplation 6:54
A2 Faceless Woman 6:41
A3 Reverance 6:25
B1 Strike Up The Band 2:44
B2 Misty 7:24
B3 Spirits In The Field 3:29
B4 Just A Closer Walk With Thee 5:25

Line-up/Musicians

Bass [Acoustic] – Fred Hopkins (tracks: B2)
Cello – Abdul Wadud (tracks: A1 to B1, B3)
Drums – Bobby Battle (tracks: A1 to B1), Steve McCall (tracks: B2)
Guitar [Electric] – Kelvyn Bell (tracks: A1 to B1)
Organ – Amina Claudine Myers (tracks: B4)
Piano [Acoustic] – John Hicks (tracks: B2)
Saxophone [Alto] – Arthur Blythe
Tuba – Bob Stewart (tracks: A1 to B1, B3, B4)

About this release

Columbia – FC 37427 (US)

Recorded at CBS Recording Studios, New York, 1981

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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ARTHUR BLYTHE SPIRIT reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Arthur Blythe is known as one of the leading alto sax player in the world of avant-garde jazz, but his "Spirit" album is often criticized as "too polished". I am the last person from whom you can expect a love for jazz commercialization, but in my opinion this album isn't so bad.

The two main problems with this release are eclecticism and an unsuccessful sequence of songs. First of all, this album was recorded by two different teams. The record's A-side and first composition on side B come from Blythe's quintet, which includes cellist Abdul Wadud, guitarist Kelvyn Bell, Bob Stewart on tuba and drummer Bobby Battle. This part of the album is really great and contains an energetic mix of avant-garde jazz with lot of fusion elements (incl. electric guitar) and some great r'n'b and even funky moments. From the very beginning the listener will be really impressed and will enjoy this music until you hit "Misty" (second song on B side).

Starting from this song the three compositions left are played by a much more conservative acoustic quartet (with pianist John Hicks, bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall), with some help from organist Amina Claudine Myers on the last song. All three songs are more straight ahead and seem uninspired and upset the impression of the whole album. This album starts as a great musical release, but is seriously undermined by the last part and the listener is left with the last three songs as his impression of the album.

Not the best Blythe album for sure, but worth listening to because of first four really good compositions.

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