About a month ago, NPR’s “Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler” offered up tracks by five overlooked jazz greats. Among them was Bennie Maupin’s “Past Is Past,” from his 1974 album The Jewel in the Lotus. As the title of the album suggests, Maupin’s music possesses a quiet, distinctly Buddhist glow, tracing emptiness to form and back again. With Herbie Hancock on piano, Buster Williams on bass, Billy Hart on drums, and of course, Maupin himself, a wind player who brings new meaning to following the breath.
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