David MURRAY Black Saint Quartet – Sacred Ground (Featuring Cassandra WILSON) 2007

David MURRAY Black Saint Quartet – Sacred Ground (Featuring Cassandra WILSON) 2007


Fresh from his forays into Senegalese, Guadeloupean, and Cuban musical genres, saxophonist/bass clarinetist David Murray has returned “home” to his classic quartet, including drummer Andrew Cyrille, bassist Ray Drummond, and pianist Lafayette Gilchrist, who took over for the late John Hicks. Murray’s broad and biting saxlines, which encompass Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and John Coltrane, imbue this dark-themed CD, inspired by his soundtrack for filmmaker Marco Williams’s film Banished, which deals with the post-Civil War ethnic cleansing of African-American communities from several U.S. counties. “Transitions,” “Pierce City,” “Believe in Love,” and “Family Reunion” are Afro-Caribbean-pulsed, tango-tinged, boogaloo-bounced numbers. The poet and long-time collaborator Ishmael Reed and Cassandra Wilson lend their lyrics and vocals to the Tranish title track and to “The Prophet of Doom,” a sly, bluesy reference to the ancient Greek woman gifted with prophecy and a singer’s name that stretches from Mycenae to Mississippi.
By Eugene Holley Jr. AMG.
Tenor saxophonist David Murray has achieved international recognition not only for his highly regarded musical prowess, but also for his tireless explorations of African-American cultural evolution and the socio-political environment that has so profoundly affected it. His previous outings on Justin Time have covered a wide range of ideas and concepts, including explorations of the African Diaspora through Guadeloupean and Cuban traditions; Senegalese fusions; Spirituals; the African heritage of noted Russian author Alexander Pushkin; and homage to the unparalleled genius of John Coltrane.

“Sacred Ground” is a fascinating and important new recording that grew from David Murray’s involvement in the acclaimed documentary film, Banished, directed by Marco Williams. Although it’s virtually unknown, more than a dozen counties in the U.S. violently expelled thousands of families between the Civil War and the Great Depression. The film – and this recording – explores not only these historical facts, but also the legacy of these events in the communities and for the descendants of the families.

After exploring the themes of the film he’d been asked to score, Murray was inspired – indeed compelled – to dig deeper, and to compose further music. David Murray enlisted poet Ishmael Reed, one of today’s pre-eminent African- American literary figures. Reed wrote two poems, performed here by the great Cassandra Wilson.

David chose to record this using his Black Saint Quartet – sometimes called Power Quartet, on the group’s first outing since the passing of the great John Hicks last year. Logically then, David enlisted pianist Lafayette Gilchrist, informally a Hicks student and admirer, and on drums the great Andrew Cyrille. Bassist Ray Drummond completes this first class group.
Ray Drummond- Bass
Andrew Cyrille- Drums
Lafayette Gilchrist- Piano
David Murray- Saxophone Tenor, Clarinet Bass.
01.Sacred Ground (8:52)Vocals – Cassandra Wilson
02.Transitions (12:04)
03.Pierce City (9:05)
04.Banished (5:46)
05.Believe In Love (10:41)
06.Family Reunion (7:19)
07.The Prophet Of Doom (11:20)Vocals – Cassandra Wilson

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2 Responses to “David MURRAY Black Saint Quartet – Sacred Ground (Featuring Cassandra WILSON) 2007”

  1. Some tasty offerings available as usual today, Monk.


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