Saxophonist David Murray is like a kiss that never ends, courtesy of his amazing recorded output going back over two decades. Fresh on the heels of the new millenium, Murray returns with Like A Kiss.
Throughout his recorded work, he's maintained high standardsyet he always seems bent on skirting predictability. Each new disc reflects a different angle of approach. Like A Kiss,
as one might imagine from the title, features some unusually laid-back improvisation. The music emphasizes melody and flow instead of the high-voltage energy that often appears in Murray's work.
Murray's Power Quartet on Like A Kiss includes some of his freshest and most versatile collaborators. Their shared experience translates into natural cohesion and collective momentum. Pianist John Hicks settles into tasteful straight-ahead comping just as naturally as he leaps into electric solos or gentle lyricism. Ray Drummond, also a long-term Murray collaborator, has an unusually warm toneand a special talent at holding down the low end without relying on cliche or pattern playing. (The sonics of this recording capture the depth and detail of his playing unusually well.) Drummer Andrew Cyrille, who's been all over the musical map through his career, generally supplies understated swing and propulsive polyrhythm.
The tunes on Like A Kiss, mostly Murray originals, cover the range from upbeat hard bop to understated funk to vibrant Latin passion to maple syrup ballads. Without seeming restless or jumpy, Murray's Power Quartet tackles a variety of approaches. Overall the disc resonates with subtlety and sophistication, a welcome contrast to Murray's often extroverted, bulging approach.
Personnel: David Murray: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; John Hicks: piano; Ray Drummond: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.