Blythe, Arthur (jazz) (Murray)
- E. Ron Horton
(b Los Angeles, CA, May 7, 1940). American alto saxophonist. He is known for his penetrating saxophone sound and ever growing and changing musical style. His music is grounded in mainstream jazz, but he has also explored the avant garde. At the age of four or five, he moved with his family from Los Angeles to San Diego, where he began his musical training. His early experiences involved Mexican music as well as rhythm and blues. In his first professional engagement Blythe netted a profit of 13 cents. During this early stage of his career he played a mixture of songs from the mariachi and rhythm-and-blues traditions and his style reflected the influence of such saxophonists as Kirkland Bradford of the Jimmy Lunceford band. In the 1960s he moved back to Los Angeles and began to work in the pianist Horace Tapscott’s ensemble, in which he performed the music of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. In the 1970s Blythe moved to New York and began working with Chico Hamilton and the Gil Evans Orchestra in addition to his own projects. He also performed in Europe with Evans, the Lester Bowie Quintet, and his own ensembles. From the mid-1990s he has lived in Farmdale, CA, and continued to record as a leader. Among his most notable recordings are ...