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Bennie Maupin is best-known for his association with Herbie Hancock and his atmospheric bass clarinet playing on Miles Davis' classic Bitches Brew album. Maupin started playing tenor in high school and attended the Detroit Institute for Musical Arts, playing locally in Detroit. He moved to New York in 1963, freelancing with many groups, including ones led by Marion Brown and Pharoah Sanders. Maupin played regularly with Roy Haynes (1966-1968) and Horace Silver (1968-1969), recording with McCoy Tyner (1968), Lee Morgan (1970), and Woody Shaw. After recording with Miles, he joined the Herbie Hancock Sextet. When Hancock broke up his group to form the more commercial Headhunters in 1973, Maupin was the only holdover. He led dates for ECM (1974) and a commercial one for Mercury (1976-1977), but failed to catch on as a bandleader and has maintained a low profile during the past 15 years, emerging in 2006 with the critically acclaimed Penumbra on the Cryptogramophone label. Early Reflections followed two years later.
Bennie Maupin (born 29 August 1940) is a Detroit Michigan jazz multireedist. He performs on various saxophones, flute and bass clarinet.
He is probably best known for his participation in Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi sextet and Headhunters band, and for performing on Miles Davis's seminal fusion record, Bitches Brew. Maupin has collaborated with Horace Silver, Roy Haynes and many others. He has also performed on several Meat Beat Manifesto albums. He is noted for having a harmonically-advanced, "out" improvisation style, while having a different sense of melodic direction than other "out" jazz musicians such as Eric Dolphy. As a composer, he has an ability to create brief melodies and song forms that create vast landscapes for improvisation.
Maupin was also a member of Almanac, a group with Cecil McBee (bass), Mike Nock (piano) and Eddie Marshall (drums).