is considered to be one of the most prolific and innovative players and composers of the last 40 years.
Not only has he distinguished himself as an inventive leader of the avant-garde movement, he has become a veritable Renaissance man just based on the myriad of projects he has undertaken in the last few years. He composed and performed music for a tribute held in London for Emory Douglas, the legendary illustrator for The Black Panther publications, and he also collaborated with Afro-Cuban musicians to perform Nat "King" Cole
The results are phenomenal. On Gray's title track, Reed goes back to his Neo Hoo-Doo roots, penning such evocative lines such as, "We don't have to wait for no full moon, Let your hair grow long..." and even includes references to Hannibal and Stephen King. Porter's singing on "Army Of The Faithful," "About The Children," and "Hope is a Thing with Feathers" are more down to earth, as well as being more philosophical and reflective. One thing, though, people refer to Bill Withers when talking about Porter's style; it is also highly evocative of Andy Bey
, and thus well-suited to the modernistic motifs in Reed's lyrics.
On the instrumental side, Murray and company deliver the musical goods as expected. Those adherents of musical orthodoxy got it into their heads that Murray can't swing and yet again they're proven wrong. Murray and his group deliver the goods from start to finish. While Murray has a penchant for playing outside the scales, he is an old-school bopper. Veteran pianist Marc Cary