Monday, April 2, 2018

Arthur Blythe - May 4, 1979, Public Theater, New York, NY

Back to the Beginning...

In 1979, Arthur Blythe looked like he could've been the next big name in jazz. He'd built up an impressive run as a sidesman and a leader on small labels. And when CBS released Lenox Avenue Breakdown, the Village Voice's Gary Giddons wrote a long, positive review. To wit:
For me, he is one of the four or five most stimulating jazz musicians to come to the jazz fore in the past decade... If Columbia can tap into Blythe's potential audience, the album could be the wedge with which other loft veterans break through to larger audiences.
No small feat considering he was compared against peers like David Murray, Ray Anderson and Butch Morris, among others.

What happened next, and how his records all sort of slipped into the cutout bins, is a story for another time, so let's reward the clock back to the late 70s, when Blythe was gigging with James Ulmer, Abdul Wadud, Bobby Battle and Bob Stewart in New York and radio stations would play his sets over the airwaves.

This one comes from May 4, 1979. It's from early in his career as a bandleader, and if this site can be believed, it's the earliest circulating show of his band. Which is neat, but wouldn't mean too much if the music wasn't so good. Take a listen and think about all the potential and talent, and you know, the stuff that made seasoned critics like Giddons start salivating.


M. Milner said...

Blythe '79 -

Scraps said...

Thank you. I'm very into Blythe, and I didn't have this.

M. Milner said...

You're welcome! I have a bunch of Bylthe, hope there's some more you'll like in the months ahead