Bennie Maupin is best known for his atmospheric bass clarinet playing on Miles Davis’ classic “Bitches Brew” album, as well as other Miles Davis recordings such as “Big Fun,” “Jack Johnson,” and “On the Corner.” He was a founding member of Herbie Hancock’s seminal band The Headhunters, as well as a performer and composer in Hancock’s influential Mwandishi band. Born in 1940, Maupin started playing clarinet, later adding saxophone, flute, and most notably the bass clarinet to his formidable arsenal of woodwind instruments. Upon moving to New York in 1962, he freelanced with groups led by Marion Brown, Pharoah Saunders, and Chick Corea, and played regularly with Roy Haynes and Horace Silver. He also recorded with McCoy Tyner, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Eddie Henderson, and Woody Shaw to name only a few.
Maupin’s own discography as a leader includes a well-received recording for ECM Records, “The Jewel in The Lotus” (1974), “Slow Traffic to the Right” (1976), “Moonscapes” both on Mercury Records (1978), and “Driving While Black” on Intuition, (1998). The instrumentation of Maupin’s current group The Bennie Maupin Ensemble, harkens back to the tradition of great saxophone-bass-drum trios, such as the group led by Sonny Rollins with Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones. While echoes of the great John Coltrane can be heard in Maupin’s work, one can also discern the influences of Yusef Lateef, Sonny Rollins, and Eric Dolphy, as well as Maupin’s contemporaries like Wayne Shorter and the late Joe Henderson. Maupin’s approach to his music is intentional and profound, yet alive in the interpretation of the moment. He maintains active performing and teaching careers in Europe, and the US. Bennie Maupin currently resides in the Los Angeles area.
What They Play
The 52nd Street saxophone is a professional instrument and comes unlacquered for a truly vintage appearance. It is an exceptionally responsive horn in all registers and produces a big, fat sound with precise intonation. A larger bell and rolled-style tone holes contribute to the sound qualities of this instrument that many compare to some of the great vintage horns of the past.
- 52nd St. Bb Tenor Saxophone
- High F# key, aged unlacquered brass finish
- Large bell, rolled-style tone holes, special 52nd St. engraving
- "M" neck
- Deluxe case w/storage pockets and backpack straps