An original member of the legendary Black Artists Group (St. Louis' counterpart to the AACM), and founder of the World Sax Quartet, Julius Hemphill was one of the most important composer/performers in creative music. His work is marked by a sharp, edgy melodicism steeped in the blues, contrapuntal complexity and a striking formal logic. One Atmosphere presents the full range of his compositional talents: a long, epic work for seven woodwinds (one of his greatest compositions, here receiving its premiere recording); a beautiful quintet for piano and strings; and a bluesy tune originally written for his famous trio with Abdul Wadud, here featuring the versatile cellist Erik Friedlander and two of his closest collaborators, Marty Ehrlich and Pheeroan AkLaff.
Pheeroan ak Laff: Drums And Percussion
Tim Berne: Alto And Baritone Sax
Robert DeBellis: Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Marty Ehrlich: Soprano And Alto Sax, Flute
Erik Friedlander: Cello
Sam Furnace: Soprano And Alto Sax, Flute
Oliver Lake: Soprano And Alto Sax, Flute
Ursula Oppens: Piano
J.D. Parran: Baritone Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Aaron Stewart: Tenor Sax, Flute
Pacific String Quartet
ReviewsThe late Julius Hemphill is pictured on the front of One Atmosphere nattily dressed and looking like someone you might meet at the crossroads, but he's holding sheet music. It's this combination of blues roots and classical formalism that was his stock and trade, both qualities represented to wonderful effect on this CD of rarely heard compositions.