Blythe, Arthur (Murray) [Black Arthur]
- Ed Hazell
- , revised by Barry Kernfeld
(Murray) [Black Arthur]
(b Los Angeles, July 5, 1940; d Lancaster, CA, March 27, 2017). American alto saxophonist and leader. He grew up in San Diego and played in school bands from the age of nine; as a teenager he studied with Kirtland Bradford, a former lead alto saxophonist with Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra. After returning to Los Angeles in 1960 he began to work with Horace Tapscott, with whom he appeared regularly until 1974. The two men were also founding members, in 1961, of the Underground Musicians Association (UGMA) (renamed later in the decade the Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension [UGMAA]). Blythe then moved to New York, where he played with Chico Hamilton (1974–7) and Gil Evans (1976–80), recorded with Julius Hemphill (1975), and performed in lofts with his own groups. From 1978 to 1980 he frequently appeared alongside Lester Bowie and in Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition....