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David Murray

Biography

One of the most diverse, prolific jazz musicians of the past twenty five years, David Murray is instantly recognizable for his vocal, expressive playing on the tenor saxophone and bass clarinet. Making his mark in mid-1970s New York as a high-energy Free Jazz blower, he quickly branched out, addressing the perceived gap between the '60s Avant Garde and the greater Afro-American tradition. Ming (1980), with its blend of colorful octet arrangements, down home melodies and raucously free-spirited group improvisation, is a prime example of this convergence and has remained one of the era's more widely hailed recordings. Singling out any one album would be misleading, however. Murray has led more than eighty-five LPs, working variations on his own brand of small combo, inside/outside, never-quite-mainstream jazz and also delving into Big Band, electric Funk, Organ Jazz, and Gospel territories. Some charge that he's spread himself too thin, but his work has been remarkably consistent in terms of both quality and its brash, soul-heavy personality.
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