Julius Hemphill: Blue Boye

Blue Boye Hemphill produced on Mbari. Ditto, “Dogon AD”, which struck a definite note of freshness, thoughtfulness, most impressive for the subtlety of its variations and inventive compositional logic.

Hemphill’s sparkled with The World Saxophone Quartet (David Murray, Oliver Lake and Hamiett Bluiett), a post ’60s watershed. Hemphill’s playing, self-consciously cerebral, sometimes to a fault, the tart, incisive tone, the richness and whimsicality of his improvisation, give a cutting edge of excitement to his work. In retrospect, it is easy to see how influential, for the good and the opposite, Hemphill’s work remains, certainly as a model for many of the “off shore” avants.