Archive for the David MURRAY Category

World Saxophone Quartet – Takin’ It 2 The Next Level 1996

Posted in David MURRAY, Hamiet BLUIETT, JAZZ, World Saxophone Quartet on December 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

World Saxophone Quartet – Takin’ It 2 The Next Level 1996


Members include Hamiet Bluiett (born on September 16, 1940, in Lovejoy, IL), baritone saxophone, alto clarinet; Arthur Blythe (born on July 5, 1940, in Los Angeles, CA; joined group, 1990; left group, 1992; rejoined group, 1994; left group, 1995), alto saxophone; Julius Hemphill (born in 1940 in Fort Worth, TX; died on April 2, 1995; left group, 1990), soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute; Oliver Lake (born on September 14, 1942, in Marianna, AR), soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, keyboards, flute; DavidMurray (born on February 19, 1955), tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Eric Person (born in St. Louis, MO; group member, 1993-96), soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; John Purcell (joined group, 1996), saxophones, saxello, flute, oboe, English horn, clarinets; James Spaulding (born on July 30, 1937, in Indianapolis, IN; group member, 1993), alto saxophone, flute. Addresses: Record company–Justin Time Records, Inc., 5455 Pare, Suite 101, Montreal, QC H4P 1P7, Canada.

Since its inception in 1976, the World Saxophone Quartet has been critically lauded for its improvisatory skills and is considered among the legitimate heirs to such post-bop, free jazz, and postmodern jazz pioneers as Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Eric Dolphy. The tonal innovations and radical new approaches that these musicians introduced to the jazz idiom in the 1960s include a rejection of mainstream jazz in favor of music more closely resembling that of such modern composers as Charles Ives and John Cage; these innovations eventually influenced some of the most highly regarded jazz recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Pharoah Sanders. These recordings feature longer performances of individual musical pieces, which were played in a more spontaneous, unstructured fashion that often resulted in deeply disturbing, cacophonous performances.

The World Saxophone Quartet has continued these groundbreaking traditions, while adding the musicians’ individual abilities to compose distinctive jazz music that serves as a launching pad for their improvisatory skills. While the largely unaccompanied four-saxophone lineup of the World Saxophone Quartet has drawn critical comparisons to the string quartets most commonly associated with classical chamber music, the Quartet has experimented equally with atonal music, distortion, volume, jazz standards by such composers as Duke Ellington, and European classical compositions. Each member of the original lineup of the World Saxophone Quartet was associated with the 1970s “loft jazz” scene in New York City.
Three original members of the World Saxophone Quartet–Hamiet Bluiett, Julius Hemphill, and Oliver Lake–were acquaintances from the vibrant jazz scene of St. Louis, Missouri, during the 1960s and early 1970s. Hemphill grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and immersed himself in the city’s jazz and R&B scene, including a period of study with jazz clarinetist John Carter. After a brief stint as a saxophonist for Ike Turner, Hemphill joined the Black Artists Group in St. Louis, a loosely knit consortium of artists who experimented with poetry, theater, painting, sculpture, and music. He moved to New York City in the mid-1970s and worked with such free jazz proponents as Anthony Braxton and Lester Bowie.By Bruce Walker.

It is obvious from the first notes that this is a very different outing by the World Saxophone Quartet — the band is backed by a rhythm section. The playing of keyboardist Donald Blackman, bassist Calvin Jones and drummer Ronnie Burrage actually adds to the music rather than taking away from the core band, for their funky rhythms are fairly unpredictable and adventurous in their own way. The WSQ (which at the time consisted of David Murray on tenor and bass clarinet, baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, altoist Oliver Lake and John Purcell on saxello and tenor) sounds inspired by the “new” setting, and their playing is as adventurous as ever. Mostly sticking to group originals, the expanded band explores many moods on such numbers as “Wiring,” “Rio,” “The Desegregation of Our Children” and
“When Thee Monarchs Come to Town”.All Music Guide.
David Murray– Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet on track 7
Hamiet Bluiett– Baritone Saxophone
Oliver Lake– Alto Saxophone
John R. Purcell– Saxello, Tenor Saxophone on track 6
Donald Blackman– Piano and Keyboards
Calvin Jones– Acoustic & Electric Bass
Ronnie Barrage– Drums, Shékéré, Tamboura, Vocals, Keyboards and other miscellaneous percussion
01. Wiring (Lake) 6:28
02. Soft Landing (Lake) 1:11
03. Rio (Lake) 7:30
04. The Peace Before (Blackman) 1:23
05. Blues for a Warrior Spirit (Bluiett) 13:08
06. The Desegregation of Our Children (Murray) 12:35
07. When the Monarchs Come to Town (Murray) 2:51
08. Endless Flight (Burrage) 7:35
09. Ballad After Us (Purcell) 4:36
10. Australopithecus (Underwood) 9:29
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David MURRAY Black Saint Quartet – Sacred Ground (Featuring Cassandra WILSON) 2007

Posted in David MURRAY, JAZZ on December 4, 2010 by whoisthemonk

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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World Saxophone Quartet – Breath Of Life 1995

Posted in David MURRAY, Fontella BASS, Hamiet BLUIETT, JAZZ, World Saxophone Quartet on December 2, 2010 by whoisthemonk

World Saxophone Quartet – Breath Of Life 1995


This is the second World Saxophone Quartet disc to feature alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe (who replaced Julius Hemphill) and the first to feature a full rhythm section including bass, piano, and organ. Going a step further from the previous year’s experiment with African drums on Metamorphosis, Breath of Life continues to find the sax quartet stretching the boundaries associated with its a cappella approach of the past. Included on its final release for the Elektra Nonesuch label are rhythm & blues-influenced originals by David Murray, Oliver Lake, and Hamiet Bluiett. The Quartet also pays tribute to Ray Charles, Little Willie John, and James Brown on “You Don’t Know Me” and “Suffering With the Blues,” featuring gospel-inspired performances by Fontella Bass (vocals), Donald Smith (organ), and Amina Claudine Myers (piano and organ).
By Al Campbell. AMG.
Described by the New York Times as “one of the finest ensembles in American music, with a velvety sonic blend and a wild-eyed imagination,” the World Saxophone Quartet incorporates wildly divergent styles and approaches to the saxophone quartet. Here, the group teams up with vocalist Fontella Bass for a set of originals and covers, material ranging from avant-garde to R&B to jazz-rock.
Hamiet Bluiett- Baritone Sax, Contra-Alto Clarinet (2)
Arthur Blythe- Alto Sax
Oliver Lake- Alto Sax
David Murray- Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet (2)
Fontella Bass- Vocals (3, 4, 7)
Amina Claudine Meyers- Organ (1, 6)
Donald Smith- Piano (1, 6, 8), Organ (3, 4)
Fred Hopkins- Bass
Tarik Shah- Bass (6, 8)
Ronnie Burrage- Drums (1, 6, 8)
Gene Lake- Drums (3, 7)
01. Jest a Little 9:13
02. Cairo Blues 1:10
03. Suffering with the Blues 5:34
04. You Don’t Know Me 6:35
05. Picasso 5:51
06. Song for Camille 7:41
07. Breath of Life 4:43
08. Deb 4:43

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David MURRAY Quartet – Death Of A Sideman 1991

Posted in David MURRAY, JAZZ on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

David MURRAY Quartet – Death Of A Sideman  1991


Although saxophone giant David Murray has made far more famous albums than Death of a Sideman, this 1991 session deserves consideration alongside Special Quartet as one of Murray’s most stupendous outings. The music’s not Murray’s; it was written by cornetist Bobby Bradford and dedicated to the brassman’s late friend and collaborator, clarinetist John Carter. Bradford wrote Sideman as a suite, with episodic opening, peaking moments of energy, and bustling, blues-lit romps. What’s more, Bradford’s behind the cornet throughout, joined by Murray’s sky-high-then-valley-low tenor and bass clarinet, Fred Hopkins’s elastic bass, and the late, great Ed Blackwell’s whisper-soft-then-thunder-loud drumming. Bradford’s tunes are linear and rich with bounce, like his early work with Carter. Murray adds mounds of gusto and potency without budging on the mellow side–where he gets tender enhancements from Blackwell. For fans of anyone in this special quartet (expanded to a quintet when Dave Burrell sits in on piano for three tracks), it’s a not-to-miss session.
By Andrew Bartlett.
David Murray- (Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet),
Bobby Bradford- (Trumpet),
Dave Burrell- (Piano),
Fred Hopkins- (Bass),
Ed Blackwell- (Drums).
01.Have You Seen Sideman? (8:58)
02.Woddshedetude (5:28)
03.Waiting For Thelonious (10:35)
04.A Little Pain (6:13)
05.Sidesteps (6:53)
06.The Gates Of Hell (6:47)
07.Bosom Of Abraham (7:28)
08.Have You Seen Sideman? (5:10)

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David MURRAY Big Band, Conducted by Lawrence "Butch" MORRIS 1991

Posted in David MURRAY, JAZZ, Lawrence "Butch" MORRIS on November 16, 2010 by whoisthemonk

David MURRAY Big Band, Conducted by Lawrence “Butch” MORRIS 1991


The David Murray big band, which can be undisciplined and even a bit out of control, is never dull. This generally brilliant effort has quite a few highpoints. “Paul Gonsalves” recreates the tenor’s famous 1956 Newport Jazz Festival solo and has some heated playing from the ensemble. While “Lester” does not really capture the style of Lester Young, “Ben” does bring back the spirit of Ben Webster. “Calling Steve McCall” is a heartfelt tribute to the late drummer (although the poetry does not need to be heard twice) and trombonist Craig Harris’ singing on “Let the Music Take You” is so-so, but the colorful “David’s Tune” and the eerie “Istanbul” are more memorable. This disc is easily recommended to listeners with open ears.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Bass- Fred Hopkins
Conductor- Lawrence “Butch” Morris
Drums- Tani Tabbal
Flute, Wind [Piccolo]- Kahlil Henry
French Horn- Vincent Chancey
Piano- Sonelius Smith
Producer- Kazunori Sugiyama
Alto Sax- John Purcell
Alto Sax, Flute- James Spaulding
Baritone Sax, Clarinet- Don Byron
Tenor and Soprano Sax- Patience Higgins
Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet- David Murray
Trombone- Al Patterson , Craig Harris , Frank Lacy
Trumpet- Graham Haynes , Hugh Ragin , James Zollar , Rasul Siddik
Tuba- Bob Stewart
Vocals- Andy Bey (tracks: 8)
Voice [Wordist]- G’ra (tracks: 4)
Whistle- Joel A. Brandon* (tracks: 1)
01. Paul Gonsalves 17:37
02. Lester 9:56
03. Ben 10:09
04. Calling Steve McCall 6:17
05. Love Joy 6:11
06. Istanbul 9:24
07. David’s Tune 7:50
08. Let the Music Take You 3:49

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