Born: September 16, 1940 Primary Instrument: Sax, baritone
The finest baritone saxophonist of the 1970s and beyond, Hamiet Bluiett has demonstrated a huge, impressive sound, superb technique, and a mastery of his horn in every register. In his solos, he can provide an array of tonal colors and harmonic options. A first-rate free player who's as proficient on standards as in blues, Bluiett has played in many excellent groups, has led his own bands, and has been featured on numerous magnificent recordings.
Bluiett took music lessons from his aunt, who was a choral director, and started on clarinet at age nine. In late adolescence, he attended Southern University, where he studied clarinet and flute. Following a stint in the navy, Bluiett moved to St. Louis in the mid- '60s. He played with Lester and Joseph Bowie, Charles Bobo Shaw, Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake. He also founded the BAG (Black Artists Group), the St. Louis equivalent of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)....