Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 08/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"David Murray and Randy Weston's "The Healers" showcases two of the biggest names in jazz in the 80s (though their careers did begin earlier) together as an intimate duo. The album starts off slowly with Randy Weston's repetitive piano line underscoring Murray's tenor flight on "Clever Beggar." A few minutes into the piece things do get going, and even though it's a boring start, it sets the subdued tone for the recording. The title track is next and it's about as sensuous as an avant-garde jazz tune can get. Murray switches to bass clarinet on "Mbizo," and the album concludes on a high note with the sometimes soaring, sometimes quietly reflective "Blue Moses." However, the album's blessing is also its curse. The duo concept is wonderful at times, but two people have difficulty holding these compositions together at times. The title track and "Blue Moses" would be great as quartet pieces, with the bass and drums propelling them along. While Murray fans will welcome the change of pace from his numerous quartet and octet recordings, those new to Murray may want to start with "The Hill" or "Special Quartet.""