By Evan Minsker.
Jazz saxophonist Arthur Blythe has died, according to WBGO and his Facebook. He was 76 years old. In recent years, Blythe reportedly struggled with Parkinson’s disease. Blythe was born in Los Angeles. Occasionally credited as “Black Arthur Blythe,” his first recording was on the Horace Tapscott Quintet’s 1969 album The Giant Is Awakened. The avant-garde alto saxophonist began a long recording career as a bandleader starting with 1977’s The Grip. In 1979, he signed to Columbia and released two albums that same year: In the Tradition and Lenox Avenue Breakdown. In the Tradition inspired an Amiri Baraka poem of the same name, while Lenox Avenue Breakdown was praised by The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings as “one of the masterpieces of modern jazz.” Blythe also recorded with Gil Evans, Steve Reid, McCoy Tyner, Mose Allison, and others. His last album was 2003’s Exhale.
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
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