Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Building a Jazz Library

Mark Murphy: An Essential Top Ten Albums

Read "Mark Murphy: An Essential Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Revered by jazz singers the world over, Mark Murphy is barely known to the general public--which is curious, since he enjoyed a recording career that lasted more than half a century, made 48 albums in his lifetime, and played thousands of gigs with hundreds of musicians from Norway to Australia. A notoriously mercurial and secretive character, he was gay at a time when homosexuality was not merely frowned upon but illegal. He was a white man when many thought that ...

4

Album Review

Mark Murphy: Live in Athens, Greece

Read "Live in Athens, Greece" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


No figure in jazz personified hip the way that the late Mark Murphy did. For more than half a century he taught the world what it meant to be a true artist, pushing boundaries, walking the tightrope, and going where he pleased. He had it all--wit, charm, guile, good taste, a pure improviser's spirit, a flexible and powerful voice--and he willingly shared it. Murphy remained current and above the trend-based fray(s) for most of his career, starting ...

7

Album Review

Mark Murphy: A Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn

Read "A Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


In his time, vocalist Mark Murphy has been described as hip, cool, swinging, fearless, gruff, and eccentric (among other things). Some-- but most definitely not all--of these terms could also be applied to Shirley Horn. So it's fitting that Murphy should pay tribute to his compatriot, as he does on A Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn, even though Murphy acknowledges that the two vocal legends didn't know each other too well.This four-track vinyl EP (accompanied by a download ...

561

Profile

Mark Murphy: Inside the Mystery

Read "Mark Murphy: Inside the Mystery" reviewed by Suzanne Lorge


Beyond its stylistic differentiators, jazz contains what vocalist Mark Murphy calls “a wonderful mystery," a mystery that was fostered in small, regional clubs around the US during the '30s-40s, when Murphy was developing the distinctive vocal style that launched his decades-long career. “I've seen this mysterious quality of jazz set rooms on fire," Murphy attests. “[Rooms] where nothing was going on until the band shuffled up and this musical rhythmic thing would happen right there on the spot." ...

481

Live Review

Mark Murphy at The Iridium, NYC

Read "Mark Murphy at The Iridium, NYC" reviewed by Martin Longley


Mark Murphy The Iridium New York, New York October 4, 2007

Most folks would probably deem Mark Murphy a bit of an eccentric figure, but it's this very individuality that has marked him as one of the most distinctive jazz singers in the music's history--not only his voice but his whole storytelling persona, his demeanour and delivery. Is Murphy in the throes of early senility, so abstract is his poise? Or is this, as ...

258

Album Review

Mark Murphy: Love is What Stays

Read "Love is What Stays" reviewed by Joel Roberts


The cover of Mark Murphy's Love is What Stays features a tight close-up of the 75-year-old singer staring unflinchingly into the camera, the ravages of age clear on his face. It's a fitting counterpart to the music inside, which fearlessly confronts the passage of time from the vantage point of one considering his own mortality. Produced in Berlin by trumpeter Till Bronner with lush string arrangements on several tunes, the album covers an astoundingly wide range of ...

400

Live Review

Mark Murphy at Blues Alley, Washington, DC

Read "Mark Murphy at Blues Alley, Washington, DC" reviewed by Erik R. Quick


Mark Murphy Blues Alley Washington, DC July 11, 2007

I may not be the most aggressive advocate of Blues Alley, but the intimate eighteenth-century carriage house in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC has been host to countless jazz legends for over forty years. The lackluster food, indifferent service and an increasingly commercial booking agenda can easily be a disincentive to all but the most intrepid jazz listener. However, it remains one of the ...


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