Artist Info

Hamiet Bluiett

The most prominent baritone saxophonist of his generation, Hamiet Bluiett combines a blunt, modestly inflected attack with a fleet, aggressive technique, and (maybe most importantly) a uniform hugeness of sound that extends from his horn's lowest reaches to far beyond what is usually its highest register. Probably no other baritonist has played so high, with so much control; Bluiett's range travels upward into an area usually reserved for the soprano or even sopranino. His technical mastery aside, Bluiett's solo voice is unlikely to be confused with any other. Enamored with the blues, brusque and awkwardly swinging, in his high-energy playing Bluiett makes a virtue out of tactlessness; on ballads he assumes a considerably more lush, romantic guise. Like his longtime collaborator, tenor saxophonist David Murray, Bluiett incorporates a great deal of conventional bebop into his free playing. In truth, Bluiett's music is not free jazz at all, but rather a plain-spoken extension of the mainstream tradition.