Saturday, January 31, 2009

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Hamiet Bluiett

Yes, it's only been a few months since we last had some video clips featuring Hamiet Bluiett in this space, but the saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader is one of yr. humble editor's favorites. In addition to being a native of the Metro East and one of the greatest baritone saxophonists in jazz history, Bluiett has always been a good interview - accessible, candid, insightful, and often funny - and we music journalists like folks who provide both great sounds and interesting copy.

As far as I know, Bluiett has no local shows coming up in the near future, but I recently ran across these previously unlinked clips while searching YouTube and, with a momentary mid-winter lull in the number of upcoming touring shows to preview, now seems as good a time as any to use them.

The first video up above is a short excerpt from Bluiett's June 2007 concert at Ivory Perry Park here in St. Louis. He's accompanied by local veterans Reggie Thomas on piano and John King on bass, plus three young student musicians from the Improvising Youth Orchestra program, drummer Zach Morrow and horn players Josh and Joel Williams. The video quality is a little rough, but it's still fun to see three generations of St. Louis jazz players working together.

The second clip shows an excerpt from a Bluiett performance with violinist and longtime collaborator Billy Bang and Jin Hi Kim, a native of Korea who plays improvised music on the komungo. It's from the 2002 Vision Festival in NYC.

Last but least, there's a short video biography of Bluiett, courtesy of the TV program Living St. Louis, a locally produced magazine show that airs on St. Louis' PBS affiliate KETC (Channel 9).

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