World Saxophone Quartet meets M’Boom
Nearly three decades have passed since that glorious 1981 evening, when an audience of three thousand gathered in the cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear what Max Roach called a “Grand Collaboration”: a concert by M’Boom and the World Saxophone Quartet. For those who were there and those who weren’t, this “Great Collaboration” is an eagerly anticipated sequel, an event that promises to get 2010 off to a roaring start. This time, the two legendary ensembles convene for a week at Birdland, January 19-23. Roach founded M’Boom in 1970, as the first ensemble consisting entirely of Western and non-Western percussion instruments, ranging from vibraphone, marimba, and tympani to steel drums, timbales, and glockenspiels. M’Boom, which has numbered as many as 10 players, now includes three of its founding member, Joe Chambers, Warren Smith, and Ray Mantilla, along with Eli Fountain, and Steve Barrios. The World Saxophone Quartet, founded in 1976, is the most celebrated saxophone ensemble in jazz history, and is made up of three founding members: David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, and Oliver Lake, plus James Carter in the seat originally occupied by Julius Hemphill. These two ensembles fuse together with an almost mystical cohesion, intensity, and flat-out joy.
Pushkin, Blackamoor of Peter the Great (2006)
“An intriguing clash of the incongruous cultural strands of Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin whose fascination for black history stemmed from his lineage back to his great-grandfather being Alexander the Great, himself a former slave, and the hard blowing brilliance of saxophonist David Murray. Telling Pushkin’s story, through his texts, music, and visuals, there’s an international cast from the US, Cameroon, Angola, France and Russia all fired up by Murray’s superlative jazz ensemble”
Sisyphus Syndrome with Amiri Baraka (2008)
« The Sisyphus Syndrome » Teaser
The time has come for the tale of the Sisyphus Syndrome. Black American history as it is depicted in The Sisyphus Syndrome is a modern reworking of the famous classic Greek allegory about a king destined to perpetually keep a gigantic boulder from rolling over him and his people. In the hands of playwright Amiri Baraka, this story symbolizes the contemporary struggle of African Americans fighting for a great democratic role. But this ancestral struggle, inherited and passed down from one generation to the next, is made up of ascending and descending phases, as illustrated by the history curve designed by Amiri Baraka.
David Murray Cuban Ensemble plays Nat King Cole (2009)
This is a heartfelt love letter to one of the great figures in popular music who was nonetheless a phenomenally gifted jazz musician.
Nat ‘King’ Cole had a piano technique that belied the gilt edged romanticism of his voice, yet it was a singer that he achieved worldwide fame.One of Cole’s most charming recordings were the 1958 and 1962 albums, Cole Espanol and More Cole en Espanol, recorded in Havana and featuring Spanish lyrics. Now, more than 50 years after it release, saxophonist David Murray, a contemporary jazz great, reprises Cole Espanol as Cole ‘En Espanol’, in the company of Cuban string band, giving the original repertoire a lush sonic canvas full of shimmering, sensual hues.
Tongues on Fire: A Tribute to the Black Panthers (2010)
Living in Color
Teaser TONGUES ON FIRE, a Tribute to the Black Panthers
Tongues On Fire directed by David Murray with The Roots,
Living Colour & Last Poets
« Tongues on Fire », a new musical project inspired by the revolutionary art of Emory Douglas, the brilliant draftsman and Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party. Although his work was mainly associated at the time with the militancy side of the movement, it has evolved today to become a recognized and inspiring art around the world.
The concept behind this project is to highlight the efficacy of the visual, oratorical and musical arts as means of communicating ideas. Taking their inspiration from the works of Emory Douglas, Umar Bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, the charismatic members of The Last Poets, have written 8 powerful poems reflecting in depth the past and today’s cultural and political agenda. As he reflected on these verses, David Murray has composed 8 melodies used as the core basis on which the music will be built on and performed by the different bands collaborating on the project such as Living Colour and The Roots.
Questlove’s Afro pick with The Roots – Amp Fiddler – Tony Allen – Macy Gray – David Murray (2011)
Questlove’s Afro-Picks is the world premiere of a unique show created by musical visionary Questlove, The Roots’ drummer and hip-hop producer. A long time partner of the Red Bull Music Academy, this outspoken tastemaker offers a contemporary tribute to African musical history through a selection of tracks played by the Afro-Picks big band, featuring Macy Gray, Black Thought, Tony Allen, Mamani Keita and Amp Fiddler, as well as members of Antibalas, of the David Murray Big Band, of The Roots, of the Tony Allen Band and Fela!, the Broadway musical.
Questlove’s Afro picks is a unique show straddling tradition and modernity, struggle and liberation, music and politics.
Motor City Remix with Amp Fiddler (2012)
Detroit has a history of music unlike any other city in the world. It can’t be labelled by a sound, or a genre, it can simply be identified by talent and innovation. Detroit artists have pushed the limits of music for more than half a century. Post the 1967 Detroit riots, Detroit declined, the white community left and the car manufacturers disappeared leaving Detroit like a ghost town. The changes were again reflected musically within the city, with the next wave of revolutionary artists such as George Clinton and The Stooges who took the legacy of the previous generation, innovated, enhanced and transformed it, taking it to new levels of musical genius. Although Motown records had moved to California, visionary artists such as Stevie Wonder pioneered a tougher new funk sound with a real grip on what the black inner city was becoming. As one of Detroit’s most versatile natives, Amp Fiddler choose some of his all time favorite songs from all corners of Detroit’s musical tapestry and bring them together through the powerful force of Funk.
David Murray Big Band with Macy Gray (2012)
David Murray invites Macy Gray, the soul music star (more than 14 million albums sold), to sing in his Big Band. For her, he writes a new repertory that includes famous soul hits from Macy gray, and offers to them new sharp and bright arrangements. He also offers to Macy some brand new original compositions completed with insightful lyrics by Ishmael Reed. The perfect combination of a unique voice and sophisticated jazz arrangements make this project one of the most exciting sound of this New Year 2013. Surprising and wonderful, the project has already conquered audiences from famous festival such as: Jazz A La Villette (Paris), London Jazz Festival (London), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands) and more…
Black Series with Tony Allen (2012)
Black Series create and materialize a bridge between two unique visions of music – Amp Fiddler (from Detroit) and Tony Allen (from Lagos) together live ! Tony Allen one of the primary co – founders of Afrobeat was described by Brian Eno as ‘possibly the best drummer who ever lived’. Now Tony Allen is hooked up with Detroit Soul Legend Amp Fiddler. At his live show´s Amp Fiddler demonstrates his impeccable talents as musician and arranger to its highest level. Detroit and Lagos from the roots to a new shape of sounds – a milestone in the history of live shows, filmed during the Pori Jazz Festival !
David Murray Infinity Quartet ft Macy Gray & Gregory Porter (2013)
‘Be My Monster Love’
An exciting, R&B-infused jazz album from Grammy Award winning composer/saxophonist David Murray, which features an A-list quartet and standout vocal contributions from platinum-selling Grammy winner Macy Gray and twice Grammy-nominated soul/jazz sensation Gregory Porter.
David Murray is considered by many to be among the greatest and most versatile saxophonists, composers and bandleaders the U.S.A has produced. In Murray’s four-decade career of prolific output, ‘Be My Monster Love’ is among his most innovative and fully developed works. It is also Murray’s first quartet album in six years. In addition to Murray on tenor sax, the band consists of fellow Motéma artist Marc Cary on piano, Jaribu Shahid on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.