music clip of the day


Tag: David Murray

Wednesday, April 22nd


Henry Grimes, bassist, November 3, 1935–April 15, 2020

With Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone), Don Cherry (trumpet), Billy Higgins (drums), live, Rome, 1962



With David Murray (tenor saxophone), Hamid Drake (drums, MCOTD Hall of Fame), live, Finland (Kerava), 2004



With Kidd Jordan (tenor saxophone), live, New York, 2010




random sights

yesterday, Chicago (Columbus Park)

Monday, December 16th

sounds of New York

David Murray Quartet (DM, 1955-, tenor saxophone; John Hicks, 1941-2006, piano; Fred Hopkins, 1947-1999, bass; Ed Blackwell, 1929-1992, drums), live, New York (Village Vanguard), 1986




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Thursday, May 10th

MCOTD Hall of Fame

Hamid Drake (drums; MCOTD Hall of Fame), David Murray (tenor saxophone), live, 2017


(Taking a break—back in a while.)

Monday, June 16th

Ornette, at 84, still plays some of the most haunting blues I’ve ever heard.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), with Henry Threadgill (alto saxophone), David Murray (tenor saxophone), Savion Glover (tap dance), et al., live, New York (Prospect Park), 6/12/14


With Don Cherry (trumpet), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), The Shape Of Jazz To Come, 1959



art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), East 100th St., New York, 1966


Tuesday, 1/8/13

With just one horn, there’s a lot of space for the other players—the so-called “rhythm section”—to fill, which these guys do as well as anyone I’ve heard in a long time.

David Murray’s Black Saint Quartet (DM, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Lafayette Gilchrist, piano; Jaribu Shahid, bass; Hamid Drake, drums), live, Berlin, 2007

Sunday, 4/15/12

Deep River Choir, Amiri Baraka (spoken words), David Murray (tenor saxophone), “Oh Freedom,” live

One reason this works so well is that none of the participants—not the singers, not Amiri Baraka, not David Murray—tries to take the performance over. How refreshing, and inspiring, in an age whose motto seems to be “look at me,” to come across folks so intent on serving—not dominating—a performance.

Wednesday, 3/9/11

Happy (81st) Birthday, Ornette!

His sound—his whole approach (simple melodies, vocal phrasing, off-center intonation)—is drenched in the blues.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone) with The Roots
Live, London (Meltdown Festival), 2009


Vodpod videos no longer available.



Vodpod videos no longer available.

The tenor player at the end—that’s David Murray.

More Ornette? Here.




What am I listening to today?

That’s easy—WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University), where it’s all Ornette all day.

Wednesday, 7/21/10

getting older

“Where did everybody go?” you wonder.

With each passing year, more of the musicians who’ve shaped your world—who’ve made life sing—are gone.

Ed Blackwell, Lester Bowie, Betty Carter, Malachi Favors, Steve Lacy, Kate McGarrigle, Art Pepper, Professor Longhair, Sun Ra, Junior Wells, Julius Hemphill (below): the list goes on, and on, and on.

World Saxophone Quartet (Julius Hemphill, alto saxophone; Oliver Lake, soprano and alto saxophones; David Murray, tenor saxophone; Hamiet Bluiett, baritone saxophone)

Medley: “West African Snap,” “I Heard That,” “Fast Life,” “Hattie Wall,” live (TV Broadcast [Night Music]), 1990 (music starts at 2:20)

Listening to Julius Hemphill (far left), a phrase from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech comes to mind: “the fierce urgency of now.” Hemphill has, it seems, so much to say—right now. Listen, for instance, to 4:30-6:35.


Live, with M’Boom (Max Roach’s 9-piece percussion ensemble), New York (The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine), 1981 (music starts at 1:55)

Want more? Here.



musical thoughts

Without music, life would be an error.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, 2/10/10

The term “sideman” can be misleading. It suggests a leader/soloist who reigns supreme while the other musicians serve merely as accompanists.  But the strongest jazz performances, especially live ones, rarely work that way—they’re all about interplay. Here, on piano, bass, and drums, are three of the finest jazz musicians in recent memory. Each contributes mightily to the quality of this performance. All, alas, are now gone.

David Murray, tenor saxophone, with John Hicks, piano; Fred Hopkins, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; “Morning Song,” live, New York (Village Vanguard), 1986

Part 1

Here are just a few of the things I love about what these guys do:

:14-16, :45-48, 1:17-20: Hopkins can be both fat and precise, funky and elegant. What other bassist pops so impeccably?

4:04-4:22: This is pure Blackwell: a delicate counterpoint dance that lifts everything without ever calling attention to itself.

5:25-42, 6:00-05: Some musicians play “inside” the chord changes and structure, some play “outside”; only a few, like Hicks, are able to do both at once, delineating the changes and structure while at the same time subverting them.


Part 2




Great! [T. L. Barrett]


I love your music clips . . . . Listening to Gil Scott-Heron right now, in fact.


love this . . . thank you for including me! [Jimmie Dale Gilmore]

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