W.S.Q. (album)

W.S.Q. is a 1980 album by the jazz group the World Saxophone Quartet released on the Italian Black Saint label. The album features performances and compositions by Hamiet Bluiett, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake and David Murray.[1]

Studio album by
RecordedMarch 1980
LabelBlack Saint
World Saxophone Quartet chronology
Steppin' with the World Saxophone Quartet

The album was identified by Chris Kelsey in his Allmusic essay "Free Jazz: A Subjective History" as one of the 20 Essential Free Jazz Albums.[2]


The AllMusic review by Scott Yanow awarded the album 4 stars, stating, "There is plenty of variety to the third album by the unique World Saxophone Quartet. The music ranges from nearly free improvisations to the four-part "Suite Music," which was almost completely written out. Rather than being a screamfest for the four innovative saxophonists (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, altoists Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake and tenor saxophonist David Murray, all of whom double on other reeds), this is a well constructed and sometimes surprisingly accessible (although always explorative) program.".[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[4]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz[5]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[6]

Track listing

  1. "Sundance" (Bluiett) - 2:38
  2. "Plainsong" (Hemphill) - 4:19
  3. "Connections" (Hemphill) - 8:06
  4. "W.S.Q." (Lake) - 5:15
  5. "Pillars Latino" (Hemphill) - 5:19
  6. "Suite Music: The Key/Ballad for Eddie Jefferson/Pam-Maw/Hattie Wall" (Bluiett) - 5:24
  7. "Sound Light" (Lake) - 5:35
  8. "Fast Life" (Murray) - 2:59



  1. Black Saint catalogue
  2. Kelsey, C. Free Jazz: A Subjective History accessed December 7, 2009
  3. Yanow, S. Allmusic Review accessed July 19, 2011
  4. Larkin, Colin, ed. (1998). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 8 (3 ed.). London: MUZE. p. 5922.
  5. Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz (1 ed.). London: Penguin. ISBN 9780140153644.
  6. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 210. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
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