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Murray's Steps

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Album Review

The octet is perfect for David Murray as an outlet for his writing, a showcase for his compositions, and an inspiring vehicle for his tenor and bass clarinet solos. For the third octet album (all are highly recommended), Murray meets up with quite a talented group of individuals: altoist Henry Threadgill, trumpeter Bobby Bradford, cornetist Butch Morris, trombonist Craig Harris, pianist Curtis Clark, bassist Wilber Morris, and drummer Steve McCall. Their interpretations of four of Murray's originals — "Murray's Steps," "Sweet Lovely," "Sing Song," and "Flowers for Albert" — are emotional, adventurous, and exquisite (sometimes all three at the same time).


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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