David Murray - The Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint & Soul Note Vol.2 [7 CD Box Set] (2013) (320 kbps)
Artist: David Murray
Title Of Album: The Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint & Soul Note Vol.2
Year Of Release: 2013
Label: CAM Jazz
Genre: Jazz, Cool, Free Jazz
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 7CD
Total Size: 864 mb
"Sweet Lovely", (1979) is an early trio set, with Fred Hopkins-bass, and Steve McCall-drums (both from the great trio Air with Henry Threadgill), and it's a pretty fine set of jazz. "Coney Island", "The Hill", and "Hope/Scope" are all very fine, each with their own sound and mood, but it's difficult to pick high points. These tunes, all played with some intensity, benefit from Hopkins' deep bass sound, and the ever inventive McCall's drum patterns. This album needs to be listened to at one sitting, and then digested--there's a lot going on. All the tunes are by Murray.
"Morning Star", (1983) is a quartet including Murray, the fine John Hicks on piano, and a dream rhythm section of Reggie Workman-bass, and Ed Blackwell-drums. Another fine album. Listen to "Body And Soul" or "Jitterbug Waltz" (among others) and you'll wish this band had recorded more music together. Hicks (a personal favorite) is a fine player alongside Murray. And listen to Blackwell's time keeping yes. Another fine album.
"I Want To Talk About You", (1986) is a live set with Murray, Hicks, Ray Drummond-bass, and Ralph Peterson, Jr.-drums. Here Murray blends both earlier playing styles with later styles the result some pretty hot playing. One listen to "Heart To Heart" and the title track will clue you in about this very good live set.
"The Hill", (1986) is yet another fine set, this time featuring Murray in a trio setting with Richard Davis-bass, and Joe Chambers-drums. Murray is also heard here playing his bass clarinet to good effect. Compositions like the title track, and "Take The Coltrane" show how good this trio was intelligent playing and arranging to maximum effect. Murray almost always seemed to know instinctively who to choose for his trios for some good sounding jazz. This is one of the better albums in this volume--but it's a close call.
"A Sanctuary Within", (1991) sounds like it came from Murray's earlier "outside" period. This is a trio with the great Sunny Murray-drums (hear his work on the ESP label from the 60's and with Albert Ayler), and Kahil El' Zabar-percussion and vocals. While there's some good playing from Murray and drummer Murray, with Zabar occasionally adding something of interest, he doesn't seem to really fit in with the other two players--not quite in step with what they're doing. A lesser album but still containing good music in spots.
"Body And Soul", (1993) finds Murray once again playing closer to the top of his skills. A quartet of Murray, Sonelius Smith-piano, Wilber Morris-bass, and the fine drummer Rashied Ali. There's a vocalist here also, Taana Running. Even though some of these musicians are relatively unknown (at least to me), this is a good band, with Murray looking slightly backwards (again) to earlier jazz styles. Listen to "Body And Soul" for an example of his thinking just don't expect a Ben Webster-like sound at this late date. But overall the band is a good one and gets down to playing some good jazz.
"Windward Passages", (1993) is another trio with Murray (once again playing his bass clarinet), the fine pianist Dave Burrell (also on vocals), and Monika Larsson-voice. Don't let the players (especially Burrell) deceive you. This is pretty close to a duet set at times between Murray and Burrell. You'll hear a number of different influences here (especially from Burrell) that gives the music a different feel. Larsson (at least to my ears) is fairly expendable here. I can't help but wonder how this set would've sounded as a true duet. The two takes of Coltrane's "Naima", "The Cave", and "It Hurts So Much To See" have some good interplay with little in the way of fluff. You may feel differently. But Murray and Burrell are the obvious stars here.
The packaging is similar to all the others in this series. A substantial lidded box, with each disc inside a reproduction of the original vinyl album cover. But be warned some of the notes on the backside are so small as to be unreadable. But all in all the packaging is pretty good. But I still wish a booklet that gives some overall context to the music would be helpful. But the music is what's important and on that point this set delivers.
For fans of either/and Murray/post-bop/post-modern jazz, this is another good collection of music. Hopefully you've heard Murray's first collection in this series, featuring his octet groups. He can also be heard to great effect on another box set in this series as a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. Much of that band's great music is included in that set. Murray, as a college student, "...decided to align myself with the avant-garde...That was also the point when I really began hearing things in a new way." But Murray was also influenced by older tenor players like Ben Webster that leavened some of his outside playing style.
His tenor sax playing has that sharp, precise sound, and when combined with a slightly rougher sound he sometimes used, gave his tone a depth and accuracy other players didn't have. And when you add in his composing and arranging skills, Murray can combine avant-garde playing with earlier styles into music that's both intelligent and has the ability to swing. His music has an impact that stays with you. Another reason to check out this (and his octet recordings) set.
~ stuart jefferson, amazon.co.uk, 11 december 2013
David Murray Trio - Sweet Lovely
David Murray Quartet - Morning Song
David Murray Quartet - I Want To Talk About You
David Murray Trio - The Hill
David Murray Quartet - A Sanctuary Within
David Murray Quartet - Body And Soul
David Murray With Dave Burrell - Windward Passages
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