Monday, June 29, 2009

A Good Day in Lovejoy

Just found a video of the mighty World Saxophone Quartet playing at a school in Lovejoy, IL (aka Brooklyn), an economically depressed but historic town just across the Mississippi from St. Louis. Musically, it has been known as the site of after-hours jam sessions attended by Miles Davis, the one-time home of Albert King (he named one of his best albums after the town), and the birthplace and current home of WSQ baritone player Hamiet Bluiett.

I've been listening to a lot of music by the WSQ and its members (esp. Julius Hemphill) lately. Interesting compositions, great ensemble and individual playing, with nontraditional instrumentation (some of the horn-only lineups would be my jazz-and-sax-hating friend Chris K's worst nightmare).

Anyway, check out the video. Not only does it feature funky, bluesy, powerful music, but the kids' reactions are fun to watch, seeming to range from "Wow!" to "WTF?!?".


Just finished watching the other three videos from this event. Don't miss #3, where they bring down the house with quite possibly the best version of the O'Jays "For the Love of Money" ever played. BTW, this is an edition of the Quartet with James Carter and Greg Osby alongside original members Bluiett and Oliver Lake (maintaining the 75% St. Louis quotient of the original group).

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