For this edition of the Audio Archive, we continue this weekend's focus on the great baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett by spotlighting Endangered Species, his recording debut as a leader.
Originally issued in 1976 by the now-defunct India Navigation label and out of print for many years, Endangered Species has been preserved online thanks to the efforts of music sharing blogs including Free The Music, where yr. humble StLJN editor found the file.
In addition to Bluiett on baritone sax and flute, the personnel on Endangered Species includes another St. Louis native, drummer Phillip Wilson, as well as Olu Dara (trumpet), Jumma Santos (balafon) and Junie Booth (bass). The album's tracks, all composed by Bluiett, are "Between the Raindrops," "Sobre Una Nube," "The Other Side of the World" and "Ayana Nneke."
Called "quite impressive" and "adventurous" by All Music Guide, Endangered Species was recorded after Bluiett left the employ of bassist Charles Mingus, right around the time he first joined forces with two other former St. Louisans, alto saxophonists Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill, and tenor saxophonist David Murray to form the World Saxophone Quartet. It's an important document in the career of the man that critics and fans have called the best baritone saxophonist of his generation, and you can download a copy of it for free here.
(Update, 5:10 p.m., 6/25/12: We've been informed that the download link above does NOT work as a regular "hot" link for some readers. If it doesn't work for you, you can try copying and pasting it into your address bar, as that seems to have been successful for at least one person. Or, you can download a different rip of the LP, of slightly lesser audio quality, here or here. Apologies for the glitchiness...)
The StLJN Audio Archive links only to recordings that are out-of-print or that never have been commercially available. The purpose of the Audio Archive is to encourage discussion, appreciation and knowledge of St. Louis jazz artists, and we urge you to support them (or their estates) by purchasing authorized recordings and merchandise and, whenever possible, attending live performances.