BA Podcast 18: David Murray 

Source: burning ambulance.

David Murray arrived in New York in the mid-1970s as a student from Pomona College in California, and quickly started playing gigs in the lofts that were hosting most of the really forward-looking music at that time. He can be heard on the compilation Wildflowers, which documented a run of performances at Sam Rivers’ RivBea studio in 1976, and he made his debut album, Flowers For Albert, around the same time, with Olu Dara on trumpet, Fred Hopkins on bass, and Philip Wilson on drums. And since then, he’s made somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred records, and probably more. What makes Murray important, though, is not just his productivity, but his unique voice – he combines old and new school styles in a really striking way, attacking with the whole horn, from the bottom to the top of its range and creating a sound that’s part Ben Webster, part Archie Shepp, and part Albert Ayler, but ultimately unlike anyone else out there. And he’s different from a lot of tenor players in that he doesn’t also play soprano. He plays tenor and bass clarinet, and that’s pretty much it.

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