Hamiet Bluiett is widely regarded as one of the most talented baritone saxophone players in all of jazz music. Bluiett has continued to record and perform as a bandleader into the twenty-first century, and he has consciously resisted the advanced technological techniques of the new century in favor of a more stripped-down sound. "I'm dealing with being more healthful, more soulful, more human. Not letting the computer and tricknology and special effects overcome me," he told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "I'm downsizing to maximize the creative part. Working on being more spiritual, so that the music has power ... power where the note is still going after I stop playing. The note is still going inside of the people when they walk out of the place."
In the 1950s and ‘60s, after receiving his music education at the Mastbaum School in Philadelphia and at the Juilliard School in New York City, HENRY GRIMES (upright bass, violin, poetry) played acoustic bass with many master jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, and McCoy Tyner. Since then, Henry has played more than 5OO concerts and festivals in 28 countries, playing and recording with many of this era’s music heroes such as Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Dave Douglas, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Roscoe Mitchell, Louis Moholo, David Murray, Zim Ngqawana, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, and once again, Cecil Taylor. Henry can be heard on nearly 90 recordings, including a dozen recent ones, on various labels.
One of the top tuba soloists since the early '60s, Howard Johnson is a very versatile player who not only plays tuba and baritone but other reeds and trumpet. He moved to New York in 1963, where he worked with Charles Mingus (1964-1966), Hank Crawford, and Archie Shepp. In 1966 he started a 20-year off-and-on association with Gil Evans. Johnson's four-tuba group Substructure performed with Taj Mahal, and in the late '70s he formed a different tuba band called Gravity that in 1996 finally had the opportunity to record (plus play at the Monterey Jazz Festival.) Howard Johnson has recorded with Hank Crawford (1983-1984), Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Jimmy Heath, Bob Moses, George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, and frequently with Evans' orchestra, among others.