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Album Review

As indicated by the title, David Murray sticks with the tenor saxophone on this date for the Japanese label DIW. Murray tackles five compositions written by Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Billy Strayhorn, and John Coltrane with his usual combination of restrained intensity and innovation. Rounding out the quartet are pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Fred Hopkins, and drummer Ralph Peterson Jr., who provide a consistently fiery undertone without totally abandoning structure. Burrell's original "Over Time," a rag dedicated to the tradition of jazz saxophones and adapted from a theme by Punaluu Peter, is a highlight and fits in with the overall theme of the session. As with most of Murray's recordings for DIW, Tenors is worth picking up despite the inflated import price tag.


Born: 19 February 1955 in Berkeley, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Initially an inheritor of an abstract/expressionist improvising style originated in the '60s by such saxophonists as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp, David Murray eventually evolved into something of a mainstream tenorist, playing standards with conventional rhythm sections. However, Murray's readings of the old chestnuts are vastly different from interpretations by bebop saxophonists of his generation. Murray's sound is deep, dark, and furry with a wide vibrato -- reminiscent of such swing-era tenorists...
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