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Bennie Maupin: The Jewel in the Lotus (1974)


“The Jewel in the Lotus” is the first album as leader by Bennie Maupin, an American jazz multireedist known for his bass clarinet playing on Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” (1970) and his association with Herbie Hancock.


The album was recorded in 1974, and released on ECM Records.

The music was performed in the modal jazz style by Bennie Maupin (saxophones, flute, bass clarinet, voice, glockenspiel), Herbie Hancock (acoustic and electric pianos), Buster Williams (bass), Billy Hart (drums), Freddie Waits (drums, marimba), and Charles Sullivan (trumpet).

In contrast to Herbie Hancock’s jazz-funk of that time, it is a spiritual jazz album with ethereal and atmospheric sounds, like tone-poems. A dreamy and impressionistic soundscape filled with meditative comfort.

The album title “The Jewel in the Lotus” is derived from the Buddhist mantra (the Great Six-Syllable Mantra, “Om mani padme hum”).

Produced by Manfred Eicher. First released on CD in 2007.