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Julius Hemphill and Sextet: At Dr. King’s Table

Of all the legions of jazz artists to emerge from the ’70s loft scene, very few had the compositional proficiency of the late saxophonist Julius Hemphill. Harmonically advanced, rhythmically challenging, and melodically alluring, Hemphill’s varied body of work embraced the earthiness associated with the gospel, blues and R&B, while also utilizing the structural wit and gutsy improvisations associated with free jazz and European classical musics. When it comes to making chamber music wail with the emotional intensity of gutbucket blues or making free jazz strut with the thrustfulness of street funk, Hemphill was peerless in his generation.

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