David Murray | Artist
David Murray is an American jazz saxophonist and composer born 1955 in Oakland, California. Murrary performs mostly on tenor and bass clarinet and was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Archie Shepp, but has gradually evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. His use of the circular breathing technique has enabled him to play astonishingly long phrases and his tone is deep, dark, and warm with a wide vibrato, recalling swing-era tenors including Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins, however Murray seldom adheres to the formal structure of a tune. Murray was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. He has recorded or performed with musicians such as Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Jack DeJonette, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Kahil El'Zabar and Cassandra Wilson. Murray also played a set with the Grateful Dead at a show on September 22, 1993, at Madison Square Garden, and his 1996 tribute to the Grateful Dead, "Dark Star," was also critically well received. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid-1970s and built an extensive catalogue of over 70 studio albums, including solo works, collaborations and ensemble works with his own Trio, Quartet and Octet. Standouts include Ming (1980), Home (1982), The Hill (1988), Special Quartet (1991), Shakill's Warrior (1991), and the 2007 collaboration with Cassandra Wilson, Sacred Ground. In terms of craft, David Murray has sometimes been compared with the great Charles Mingus. In the same way Charles Mingus drew on older styles and transformed them into his form of modernist jazz, Murray draws on the ideas and sounds of older free jazz, not as pastiche, but to transform them and stamp them with his personality. And, as with Charles Mingus’s bands, he blends the elements as though every sound is part of the organized whole, while allowing the musicians a freedom to express themselves within the structure. David Murray and his band earned a Grammy Award in 1989 in the Best Jazz Instrumental Group Performance category for Blues for Coltrane: A Tribute to John Coltrane (1988).
Artist Website: wikipedia/David_Murray
Featured Albums: David Murray
Related Artists: World Saxophone Quartet