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Like a Kiss That Never Ends

David Murray

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Album Review

As Juan Rodriguez writes in the liner notes, this recording is unusual for David Murray in its lack of theme. Yet, as Rodriguez also correctly notes, the saxophonist's "full-bodied attack and tireless ideas" are themselves a sort of musical concept. In any case, fans of Murray will not be disappointed, even if the album does not break any new ground for the talented Murray. Not that it needs to do so. Murray distinguished himself in the 1970s and 1980s with his affinity for the avant-garde, but that commitment receded (or matured, depending on your perspective) to a more mainstream approach with time. While this set of mostly original tunes is rooted firmly in the depths of melodic invention, it does not neglect the saxophonist's roots as an adventurous performer. There is a nice mix of songs, from the slow and lush to the hard-hitting. The saxophonist's group, which he calls his "Power Quartet," is filled with some of the best players in the trade, from the talented and seemingly ubiquitous bassist Ray Drummond, to longtime colleagues, drummer Andrew Cyrille and pianist John Hicks. The latter, in particular, is impressive on the instant album, with some aggressive playing that puts him in the driver's seat. While Like a Kiss That Never Ends is not pivotal in Murray's distinguished career, it nonetheless retains the high quality that has marked so much of his work.

Biography

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...
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