David Murray Trio: Corazón
David Murray Trio with Fred Hopkins and Steve McCall
Sweet Lovely (Black Saint 0039)
Composed by David Murray.
Recorded: Milano, December 4 or 5, 1979
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Listening to this some thirty years after it was made, one is struck by the striking combination of originality and maturity the then 24-year-old David Murray already possessed. These days, it's not unusual to hear a saxophonist that age play with considerable self-assuredness and/or polish, but seldom do such players exhibit much originality. Concomitantly, it's not terribly unusual to hear a young musician attempting something new, yet that ilk of jazz player is typically tentative and/or raw. Murray was an original who grew up fast. His interpretation of the slow, melodic "Corazón" is subtle and affecting, his grasp of the finer elements of ballad-playing complete. Bassist Fred Hopkins plays in constant counterpoint to Murray, his melodic sense well-honed, his skills as a team player unsurpassed by any contemporary bassist. Drummer Steve McCall recedes into the background. His use of mallets provides a soft, dark-hued backdrop. The three men work extremely well together; they're a sensitive and savvy group. As for Murray, his left-of-center style was in full blossom, even at this early point in his career. Murray combines a manifest purity-of-intent with a distinctive artistic vision and highly-evolved musicianship—a rare and wonderful combination that makes for a very moving performance.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey