The David Murray Power Quartet is aptly named: This is a propulsive, forceful ensemble anchored by the big, fat tenor sound of David Murray at his most straight-ahead and swinging. If you are used to hearing Murray in his more “experimental” guises (and he’s had plenty), then you might be surprised to hear him sounding so accessible and mainstream. The truth is he’s a great player, and eminently at ease with this material. It doesn’t hurt to have a great rhythm section, either -- including John Hicks on piano. The album gets off to a rousing start with a straight-ahead blues number, “Blues for Felix.” Murray lets it be known from the beginning that he’s not afraid to roar, growl, and show off a little -- including playing way up in the high range and tossing off a few trills and slides in the heat of the moment. “Like a Kiss That Never Ends,” the title number, is a slightly off-kilter tango that gets the big, beefy “power” treatment from Murray’s mighty tenor. “Dedication” is a lovely ballad featuring a solo by John Hicks. “Mo’ Bass” gives the rhythm section a workout: Beginning as a duet for Ray Drummond on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums, it winds up with Hicks contributing some wild piano runs and crashes before Murray steps in to blow some free-form squeaks and squonks and the whole experiment settles back down into calmer waters. The final cut is a delightful Thelonious Monk tune, “Let’s Cool One,” with Murray contributing a playful solo on the bass clarinet. If you’ve been wanting to hear David Murray with a terrific quartet swinging hard and obviously enjoying himself as he tests his chops on some straight-ahead material, here’s another chance. Have fun.
|Label:||Justin Time Records|