Dave McMurray - Nu Life
McMurray is an amazing musician. First time I met him was in London
UK. I attended his concert in the Apollo theatre in
London/Hammersmith. The venue was so impressing that I couldn't resist
to write a report about it.
I have already known Dave by his diverse albums as "Piece
Of Mind", Soul
Searching and "Area Reservada
2". Some will also remember his album "David McMurray
Show", his collaboration with the group "Mirror-Mirror"
(Sax, Beats and Meditations") or in earlier time with the group
"Was (Not Was)". He also played with such great artists as
for example Gerald Alston ("First Class Only"), Mark Isham,
The B-52's ("Good Stuff"), Tim Bowman ("Smile"),
Herbie Hancock or Bob James ("Joyride").
isn't only a fantastic sax player but also an excellent keyboardist
and flutist. He is also experienced in producing, composing and
arranging. On Sunday Morning, the album
starter, we can listen to his heavy and funky swing. He is accompanied
by his long-time crew Wayne Gerard (guitar), Darrell
"Peanut" Smith (bass) and other fellow-musicians as Ron Otis
(drums), Adell "Showboat" Shavers (guitar) and Marlon Curry
(percussion). Dave's appearance is dominant and powerful.
He is running onstage like a bull. This dynamic is audible in his
One of my favorite genres is acid jazz, especially Roy
Ayers' music. Dave's cover of Searching catches
perfectly the spirit of the original, especially with KEM's smoky
voice. KEM is the upcoming star
of the R&B and Adult Soul scene. His debut album "Kemistry",
released on the Motown Records label in 2002, got high acclaims
by critics and audience. KEM is as Dave from Detroit, so a collaboration
between both is self-evident, especially because both have Grover Washington
Jr. as their idol. But it's not only KEM's voice which makes this song
to a fantastic event. Dave shows his skills on flute, keyboards and
tenor/soprano sax. I cannot imagine that the original sounds better.
Detroit 2 Cali is featuring Kevin
Toney on acoustic piano. His latest album is "Strut"
released on Shanachie. The drum beaten groove is the ideal ground for
Dave's melodic voyage which is perfectly interrupted by Kevin's
syncopated blasts on the piano keys. Kevin is also born and raised in
Detroit city. Both musicians have the urban groove in common.
often plays together with the Ridgeway Sisters. Grace, Ester and
Gloria have awesome timbres and perfectly scat along. Good
Day is their song.
Avenue is more of the urban styled music. Dave and Wayne Gerard
like to improvise but always in a melodic way.
Your Head is dedicated to Bob James. Dave is always talking
about Bob with great respect. He considers him as a friend and mentor.
Both are often playing together on tours around the globe. So it wasn't
a surprise that Bob is also featured on Dave's new album "Nu Life
Stories", which is scheduled for release in April 2003. Bob is
playing a solo on electric piano. You know how it sounds by his
Fourplay and solo albums. His hands are graced.
McMurray loves the Hip Hop beat. Always adapting new influences his
travels to Europe show concrete results in his solo albums. No wonder
that you can listen to the typical drum-loops on many tracks of his
album. Big Dreams, featuring George Duke
on Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer, makes no difference. Some critics
dislike these grooves: Jim Santella (All
About Jazz) comments: "The only trouble is, it's too
perfect." Such opinions are often to hear especially by jazz
affinados. But this music sells, the best proof that people like these
alternates the rhythm. Like We Used To is
a slow romantic tune with Ron Otis on drums and Marlon Curry on
Herschel Boone is
another divine voice featured on Steppin' Out written
by Dave and Herschel . A little vocodered but not too
overdosed. I like this choir arrangement which reminds me at
"Chicago". Herschel was also singing on the U.K.
tour. Who ever listen to his "Let It Go", know: this guy
deserves an own album. By the way friends of Dave McMurray wake up: Dave and
Herschel will perform
from 4/4/2003 to 4/5/2003 in the Jazz Cafe,
is a Lyricon woodwind synthesizer? J. L. Cooper Electronics
constructed MIDI adapter modules for several synthesizers, one of
which was the Lyricon, a wind controller using woodwind-fingering
technique, which was popular in the 1970s. Read more about this
instrument in Ron Cole's doctoral dissertation, "The
Electronic Valve Instrument: Nyle Steiner's Unique Musical
Innovation" or at obsolete.com.
Dave is playing the Lyricon on The Jazz Life.
It's a very dynamic up tempo tune and who can follow the rapidity of
this tune better than Marcus Miller on bass and Wayne Gerard on
guitar. Dave's parade piece is comparable with electric jazz
experiments of the early 70's by horn players like Don Ellis, Miles
Davis or Eddie Henderson.
"I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry" was the name of
George Duke's album released in 1975. It's a crossover jazz album with
fusion elements and R&B. Dave covers the ballad Someday.
George re-released this tune on his album "Dream On" (1991).
The title Funki
Dashiki isn't chosen accidentally. It's an traditional African
clothing which was very popular in the 70's in the hippie scene
worldwide and one of Dave's favorite shirts. A shuffle rhythm by a
drum machine, Rayse Biggs muted trumpet, Adell
"Showboat" Shavers' wah-wah guitar are some ingredients for
Dave's fusion excursion.
tune Nu Life Stories is featuring a
further Detroit musical talent: Charles Scales on acoustic piano. You
can also listen to his music on Gene Dunlap's album "Tales Of The
Phatman" (2000), where he plays keyboards and Rayse Biggs muted
trumpet. Dave knows his local jazz heroes.
to more funky music on Dave's House. This
is Dave's life style mixed with house elements. A tune designed for
dance floor audience.
Me Softly With His Song was a huge Shirley Bassey or Roberta
Flack hit. This cover version is featuring Boonie Peele, an awesome
sultry voice. Boonie is also featured on Dave's first solo album "David
McMurray Show". This song was
first released as a single version "Area Reservada 2" for a
Spanish radio show on Radio 3. Great to hear it again on this album.
of Dave McMurray's music already know it. This album is a must. To the
other listeners my advice: Start your Dave McMurray collection quickly
before all his albums are sold out.