Classic Coltrane quartet alumni + David Murray
Eric Brinkmann | Palo Alto, CA United States | 01/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly fantastic group of musicians, and they certainly manage to inspire and push each other to the limit on this great recording. David Murray, one of the great tenor saxophonists, had played before with McCoy Tyner, but this was the first time that the two of them also hooked up with Elvin Jones. Obviously, the potential for such a grouping is enormous, and they do not disappoint. While David Murray admits in the liner notes, "I wish Jimmy Garrison were there", Lightnin' Fred Hopkins makes a more than adequate substitute, and in a way might even be preferable to Garrison, as he is accustomed to Murray's style and able to accompany him on his own terms, not Coltrane's.
That is in essence what is so remarkable about this album: while the spirit of Coltrane is to be found everywhere, from the choice of tunes ("Cousin Mary", and "In a Sentimental Mood", which will be inevitably compared to the sublime rendering given by Coltrane and Ellington, and, by the way, comes out of the comparison not at all unfavorably) to the sidemen, Murray's interpretation of these tunes is anything but derivative of Coltrane's style. Unlike so many jazz musicians of the 80s and 90s, he can pay respects to Coltrane without being overwhelmed by his influence. That he can retain his own unique, dynamic musical personality in such close proximity to Coltrane's enormous legacy is, in my opinion, proof of David Murray's greatness."
In Coltrane's footsteps
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 06/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The main selling point on this album is that it matches David Murray with half of Coltrane's rhythm-section--McCoy Tyner & Elvin Jones. The bass chair is filled by the late great Fred Hopkins. They do Coltrane's "Cousin Mary", Duke's "In a Sentimental Mood" & four Murray originals (adding to the burgeoning pile of renditions of tunes like "Hope/Scope" & "3D Family"--his reworking of his compositional oeuvre is as assiduous & somewhat redundant as Monk's). It's an excellent album that fulfills one's expectations from such a fine band. It's a particular pleasure to hear Tyner playing in a more "outside" context than usual on "Hope/Scope", which is the toughest but for me most rewarding track on the album. There's also a particularly intense version of "3D Family"--watch out for the white-hot coda on which Murray ascends into the stratosphere. "Cousin Mary" is given a searching examination by Murray, on which Tyner alternately comps & drops out. "In a Sentimental Mood" is a piano/tenor duet that's over 10 minutes long, & actually manages to sustain interest over that length: predictably, with a typically loud & lavish Tyner on the piano there's little room for the seraphic glow of Coltrane's reading with Ellington, but Murray is in his best Webster-Ayler ballad mode.What makes this disc work is that Murray's tenor saxophone playing is devoid of Coltraneisms--his formative influences lie elsewhere for the most part. His highly personal ultra-loose-limbed rhythmic gait isn't swinging in the conventional sense but somehow turns out right; with Jones playing at his loosest too this can threaten to fly apart but never does. A fine album."
Murray with super group-great if you like angular take on st
C. Katz | Peoples Republic Of Massachussettes | 09/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just get it.Killer high energy playing.Reminds me in terms of energy of Jack Dejohnette Special Quartet (his best).Check review at www.allmuisc.co then get some octet CD's like Ming or his beautiful Bass Clarinet Ballad and duo CD's"