World Saxophone Quartet: P.O. in Cairo


P.O. In Cairo


World Saxophone Quartet


Steppin’ With the World Saxophone Quartet (Black Saint 0027)

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Julius Hemphill (soprano sax), Oliver Lake (alto sax), David Murray (tenor sax), Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax).

Recorded: Milan, Italy, December 1978


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

It’s unclear what the titular “P.O.” is here, maybe just a workaday “post office,” but perhaps a “private organization,” describing the W.S.Q. itself. Certainly the winding melodic line, with its insinuation of intrigue and clandestine activity, supports the latter reading. The mystery unfolds throughout the performance, where skittering lines suddenly lock into tight counterpoint, as if the result of covert cues. Murray’s composition is a showcase for the collective, and the recording a summation of its artful methods. The performance appeared on the group’s Black Saint debut, and its second album overall.

Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli

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