Archive for Bob Stewart

Some more Arthur Blythe (Montreux 1981)

Posted in Abdul Wadud, Arthur Blythe, clips with tags , , , , , , , on January 20, 2013 by crownpropeller

Some days after transferring this Arthur Blythe concert from VHS to video, I found parts off another Blythe concert that were filmed a year later at the Montreux Jazz Festival. So let this clip be a fitting tribute to festival founder Claude Nobs, who passed on January, 10th.

Here are Arthur Blythe as; Bob Stewart tu;Abdul Wadud cello; Kelvyn Bell g; Bobby Battle dr on July 18, 1981 at the Casino De Montreux in Montreux, Switzerland.

They are playing:

Strike Up The Band (starting from 0:00)
Shadows (starting from 5:18)
Bush Baby/unidentified tune (starting from 12:17)


Contemplation (starting from 33:06)


Arthur Blythe 4: Berlin 1980

Posted in Abdul Wadud, Arthur Blythe, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by crownpropeller

One of the musicians I must have seen playing most often in the late 1980s and early 1990s must be alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe – although I never saw him with one of his own groups.

Instead I heard Blythe several times with Roots, the “In The Tradition” band of Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Nathan Davis, Don Pullen, Santi Debriano and Idris Muhamad which did the european festival circuit for a while. And I remember at least three concerts by The Leaders, the band that consisted of Don Cherry (later replaced by Lester Bowie), Blythe, Chico Freeman again, Don Pullen (later replaced by Kirk Lightsey), Cecil McBee and Don Moye.

A few years earlier Blythe had almost become a star when Columbia Records gave him a contract hoping that Arthur Blythe’s intelligent and deeply emotional handling of the whole alto sax history with his way of playing that is ornamental, biting and hard hitting all at the same time might have some sort of mass appeal – which it unfortunately did not have.

Over his long career Blythe has again and again worked (and still does) with tuba player Bob Stewart, with which Blythe also recorded (together with percussionist Ahkmed Abdullah) the LP Bush Baby in 1977, one of my favorite Blythe LPs:

Blythe’s abstractions and Stewarts funky, earthy bass lines always make a great combination. So I was really amazed to find on one of Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes more than fifty minutes  of a concert the Arthur Blythe Quartet played at the Jazzfestival Berlin on November 1st, 1980. This is one of the classic Blythe groups from that time featuring besides Blythe and Stewart cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Bobby Battle. They are playing:

Miss Nancy
Bush Baby

The last track is unfortunately not complete on the source tape, so I had to fade out during the drum solo (it just goes on for a few seconds). After that band also played Down San Diego Way and Break Tune. Maybe they will turn up on another VHS tape one day? Until then:


P.S.: And now a personal ad, directed to those living in Berlin: On tuesday October 23rd 2012 I’ll be spinning the wax at the Club Monarch, after the reading performance by the Verbrecherversammlung at Skalitzerstrasse 134. So if you are in the mood for some jump, jazz and jive,, I’ll be glad to see you!