Full performer name: Arthur Blythe/David Eyges/Bruce Ditmas.
Personnel: Arthur Blythe, David Eyges, Bruce Ditmas.
Personnel: David Eyges (cello); Arthur Blythe (alto saxophone); Bruce Ditmas (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bert Noglik.
Recording information: Sky Studios, New York City, NY (07/24/1996).
Photographer: Jürgen Schwab.
Translator: Lisa Boulton.
Arthur Blythe has never risen to the public acclaim of some saxophonists--he's not as famous as Steve Lacy, much less Kenny G or Branford Marsalis--but to those in the know, Arthur Blythe is one of the greats. An alto who doubles on soprano, Blythe has the remarkable ability to channel the free jazz intensity of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Joseph Jarman into the intense melodicism of John Coltrane at his most lyrical.
CBS Records might have goofed when they tried a "greatest saxophonist in the world" hype machine on Blythe--his playing is far too modest and self-effacing for that kind of statement--but one listen to SYNERGY shows why they tried. Recorded as a trio with drummer Bruce Ditmas--who owes much to Ronald Shannon Jackson's hyperkinetic polyrhythms--and bassist David Eyges, SYNERGY is a marvel, alternately beautifully modulated and powerfully free.