Bluiett was active for over five decades and is considered to be one of the greatest baritone saxophonists of all time.
Bluiett was born in Brooklyn, Illinois in 1940, settling on baritone saxophone at the age of ten after trying a variety of instruments. He joined the Navy band in 1961, and returned to St. Louis in the mid-1960s. Bluiett co-founded the multi-discipline Black Artists’ Group, working with it for several years.
He moved to New York in 1969, joining the Charles Mingus Quintet and Sam Rivers’ large ensemble. Bluiett co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet with Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, and David Murray in 1976, and the group continued (with lineup changes) for decades, releasing over 20 albums.
Memorial service details will be updated in the St. Louis American.