Since he arrived in NY in 1975, David Murray established himself as one of the prominent saxophone players and leaders of jazz. He has released over 200 albums under his own name, working with the likes of Max Roach, Randy Weston, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Taj Mahal, Mal Waldron, Amiri Baraka, Jerry Garcia, Doudou N’daye Rose, Cassandra Wilson, Jason Moran, Macy Gray, Omara Portuando, Saul Williams, Vijay Iyer, Quest Love, Black Thought, and Gregory Porter to name a few. He is also a founding member of the groundbreaking World Saxophone Quartet which toured and recorded for 40 years. As well as being a well known bandleader, he is a noteworthy composer and arranger providing memorable melodies and harmonies. His approach to improvisation is instantly recognizable. Even in its freest flights, he acknowledges the gravity of a tradition he honors more than most, combining all the influences he grew out of: gospel, jazz, free/avant-garde jazz, rhythm’n blues, R&B and, in his associations with writers, poetry. The great Cecil Taylor compared him to his greatest predecessors who had signature sounds: “You stick your ear in the door, you know it’s David!’’ His most recent trio, The Brave New World Trio, released an album May 2022 after touring for 2 years. The critics unanimously agree that he is at the top of his game! “The concept of freedom expressed here involves drawing freely from myriad styles, minting them into music that is both uncompromisingly rigorous and directly communicative.” (Downbeat, July 2022) David Murray goes down as a worthy successor for some of the biggest names in jazz, and he is now contributing to the rise of many young talents acclaimed by the critics.
Photo © Andy Freeberg, NYC, 1980s