Fat man and the Hard Blues

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COMPOSERS: Fat man and the Hard Blues
LABELS: Clean Feed
ALBUM TITLE: Julius Hemphill Sextet
WORKS: Julius Hemphill Sextet
PERFORMER: Marty Ehrlich, Sam Furnace, Andy Laster, Aaron Stewart, Andrew White, Alex Harding
Julius Hemphill was one of the great


masters of the saxophone in the post-

Coltrane era. This sextet named after

him features at least two of his most

dedicated students in Marty Ehrlich

and Andy Laster, and on this live

set from the 2003 Lisbon Jazz em

Agosto festival they perform nothing

but Hemphill compositions. There

are old favourites such as ‘Revue’

and ‘Georgia Blue’, and less familiar

discoveries from the capacious

Hemphill legacy, such as the strangely

sweet-and-sour entwinings of ‘Rites’.

This is, though, very much

ensemble music: Ehrlich, the group’s

MD, is more interested in tapping

into the gorgeous sonorities in these

beautiful compositions than merely

having them stand as a prop for


individual solos. Richard Cook