David Murray and Randy Weston: Clever Beggar
David Murray and Randy Weston
The Healers (Black Saint 120-118-2)
Recorded: New York, September 26, 1987
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
David Murray puts his huge, vibrato-infused tenor sound to work on this pedal-point ballad in tandem with the pianist Randy Weston. Murray has long excelled at bringing an "outside" sensibility to "inside" jazz—never more so in the late '80s, when he was transitioning from being a free player to one who dealt more intimately with the standard jazz repertoire. He plays it fairly straight here with composer Butch Morris's minor-key melody. His burnished tone sustains and enhances the tune's bittersweet mood. In his solo, Murray segues into a more active but no less expressive mode, his big ears and broad imagination leading him to explore some obscure but invariably rewarding avenues. Weston's repetitive, gently percussive accompaniment has a balafon-like feel; his style is an attractive melding of African and jazz sensibilities. The men complement one another quite nicely. In particular, Weston's ability to focus on matters of pulse and harmony counterbalances Murray's tendency to go rather far afield. They make an excellent team, and this is an excellent track.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey