DAVID MURRAY — David Murray Quartet : Francesca (review)

DAVID MURRAY — David Murray Quartet : Francesca album cover Album · 2024 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
snobb
Tenor David Murray made his name in the late 70s and early 80s as one of the free jazz loft scene stars. Later he switched towards more accessible forms of jazz while still recording more adventurous albums occasionally. Less active during the last decades, David surprisingly returned in 2022 with a soul jazz album on the Swiss Intakt label, recorded with bassist Brad Jones and legendary drummer Hamid Drake.

Two years later, David returns with another Intakt release, his new quartet's work "Francesca". Murray plays soulful post-bop here, similar to the more orthodox post-avant-garde albums Archie Shepp was responsible for in the late 70s and 80s. Quite an unusual offer for a Swiss label specializing in more experimental and free jazz. Probably Murray's name as one of the avant-garde jazz significant figures from the past is a reason.

The album's music itself is beautifully played tuneful jazz usual for the early 80s. Compared with the above mentioned Archie Shepp works, Murray plays a bit more fast-tempo, more elegant, and less melancholic (ie not Shepp's "late night jazz"). His quartet is completed with some of the brightest young generation's musicians from both continents, including fast rising Spanish piano star Marta Sanchez, unorthodox bassist Luke Stewart, and young American drummer Russell Carter. BTW, Marta Sanchez is releasing her album as a leader on the Intakt label this year as well.

Murray is the obvious leader here on this recording, still leaving some space for each collab's soloing. In general, the music is more emotionally colored than technically complex, offering a bouquet of tunes. All musicians play concerning tradition, but adding some light touch of modernity.

An album of great musical quality if a bit conservative. Absolute must-have for everyone searching for newly released music based on the tradition of the 70s and 80s.
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