The longest track on “Perfection,” the debut album by a jazz trio with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, clocks in at just over eight minutes, covering so much ground that it feels almost like an epic. Composed by Mr. Murray, it’s a swinging tune with a pensive yet intrepid melody, and a midsection of bristling abstraction. The title is playfully apt: “The David, Geri & Terri Show.” Dynamic combustion is the core characteristic of this all-star trio, which first convened at the 2015 NYC Winter Jazzfest. Mr. Murray, 61, is an improviser of great, garrulous bluster, while Ms. Allen and Ms. Carrington, both in their 50s, have forged prominent careers more in line with the postbop mainstream.
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.
Tenor sax and bass clarinet player's excellent series of Octet efforts for Black Saint in the 80s – a run of brilliant albums with lineups featuring Henry Threadgill, Olu Dara, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Bobby Bradford, Hugh Ragin, James Spaulding and other great players – 5 albums in a CD box set in the Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint & Soul Note series! It includes the Ming album from 1980, Home from '82, Murray's Steps (released in '83), New Life from '87 and Hope Scope from '91 – each in a cardboard sleeve with the original album art and each remastered. (All albums come in cardboard sleeve replicas of the original album covers!)
Saxophonist David Murray continues his cross genre initiatives on this undeniably exciting, 2003 release Now Is Another Time. With this effort, the artist enlists his longtime running mates, trumpeter Hugh Ragin and baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett to complement a huge cast of Cuban musicians. This large ensemble Latin jazz extravaganza packs a mighty blow, from beginning to end. Here, the band churns out radiant, multi-layered horn arrangements atop the Cuban masters' sweltering percussion grooves and the soloists' blaring exchanges.