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Murray, Sunny : Sunny Murray (ESP-Disk)


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product information:

UPC: 825481040372

Label: ESP-Disk
Catalog ID: espdisk 4037
Squidco Product Code: 8685

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Originally released in 1966 as ESP 1032, and also on CD as ESP-Disk' ESPCD 1032


Sunny Murray

Jacques Coursil

Jack Graham

Byard Lancaster

Alan Silva

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track listing:

1. Early History / The New Music 23:23

2. Sunny Muray - 1 :45

3. Phase 1,2,3,4 (s.m.) 9:32

4. Hilariously (s.m.) 10:11

5. Angels and Devils (j.c.) 11:22

6. Giblet (s.m.) 8:34

7. Recap Session (interview) 1:44

8. Musicians and Magic (interview) 8:49
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

Classic and important '66 release from the innovative drummer Sunny Murray in a quintet session, remastered and with bonus interview track between Murray and ESP label founder Bernard Stollman.

"Sunny Murray is the only drummer who ever played the Theory of Relativity," commented Alan Silva in a recent interview, and barely seconds into the drum solo that opens this album it's not hard to see exactly what he means. Murray's percussion work, setting up complex webs of pulsations using a remarkably small kit -- what he does with a snare, floor tom, and cymbals beggars belief -- is without precedent in the history of jazz (though Murray has always considered his work as being the next evolutionary step forward from the drummers he admired: Roy Brooks, Louis Hayes, Denis Charles, and Edward Blackwell), and even today this quintet outing featuring Silva on bass, Jacques Coursil on trumpet, and the twin alto sax attack of Byard Lancaster and Jack Graham is as wild and disturbing as the bare black-and-white photograph of Murray that adorns the original cover. Lancaster's wailing on "Hilariously" might recall the classic Albert Ayler Quartet that Murray played with in Europe in 1964, but Murray's compositions are no longer anchored by references to folk and gospel, as Ayler's were -- instead, they exist as strange energy fields in their own right. Murray revisited some of these pieces on later occasions -- notably "Giblet," which pops up on his BYG Actuel classic An Even Break (Never Give a Sucker) -- but for sheer raw power and ferocious creativity, this 1966 set needs some beating."-Dan Warburton, All Music

Artist Biographies:

"James Marcellus Arthur "Sunny" Murray (born September 21, 1936 in Idabel, Oklahoma) is one of the pioneers of the free jazz style of drumming.

Murray spent his youth in Philadelphia before moving to New York City where he began playing with Cecil Taylor: "We played for about a year, just practicing, studying - we went to workshops with Varèse, did a lot of creative things, just experimenting, without a job" He was featured on the influential 1962 concerts in Denmark released as Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come.

Murray was among the first to forgo the drummer's traditional role as timekeeper in favor of purely textural playing. "Murray's aim was to free the soloist completely from the restrictions of time, and to do this he set up a continual hailstorm of percussion ... continuous ringing stickwork on the edge of the cymbals, an irregular staccato barrage on the snare, spasmodic bass drum punctuation and constant, but not metronomic, use of the sock-cymbal"

After his period with Taylor's group, Murray's influence continued as a core part of Albert Ayler's trio who recorded Spiritual Unity: "Sunny Murray and Albert Ayler did not merely break through bar lines, they abolished them altogether."

He later recorded under his own name for ESP-Disk and then when he moved to Europe for BYG Actuel."

-Wikipedia (

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