David Murray and the Gwo Ka Masters, Bath Festival, Pavilion, Monday 31st May

David Murray is undoubtedly an international star with reputation built on a distinctive sound and some pretty wild playing over the years. I discovered him quite early in my exploration of jazz when my listening was shaped principally by the record section of the local library (remember those!), and was gripped by the unhinged, impassioned nature of his blowing. I suspect enjoyment of last nights gig will have been shaped by your expectations. Sometimes someone expresses your own thoughts so precisely (and probably more eloquently!) , that maybe one should just not add much more.  Here’s a review of the album of the material the band played last night. Respectful, but  for me on the money. A couple of quotes…

“ (on)Southern Skies”, for example, you will find drummer Renzel Merrit and bassist Jaribu Shahid rocking the proceedings like refugees from a Sly Stone jam while Murray blows free and crazy” ……. It was Hamid Drake on drums last night …..  “If you dig it, it’s a crazy jambalaya.  But for all its groove, it’s a mess.” Well yes. Lots of chanting and thrashing going on. Great fun, for a while.  And on that crazy free blowing…. “with three decades of perspective on Murray’s playing…. his tenor solos can be obstinately similar” Well yes again.

So, you could get on the dance floor, and the grooves went on (like George Benson’s Breezin on steroids at one point I thought) and some genuinely exciting moments. Ultimately though a bit of a mess, and not Murray at his most compelling. Good fun, but we left early in the second set before it began to pall.


One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s