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The career of saxophonist David Murray is fascinating. Leaving aside his own projects such as his big band or his famous octet from the 1980s, his name has been tied to filmmaker Robert Altman, writers such as Stanley Crouch, and musicians like Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and Oliver Lake, who together with Murray was part of the World Saxophone Quartet. These are just some highlights of his long career.
Murray has a soft spot for cultural confrontation, a speciality he cultivates from diverse areas. One of them is the Infinity Quartet, which has now welcomed to its ranks the rapper, poet and actor Saul Williams. The result of this collaboration is an album titled “Blues for Memo”, a reference to the nickname given to the Turk Mehmet Ullug who, together with his brother Ahmet, introduced contemporary jazz to his country when he opened the Babylon Club.
This club was visited by Pharoah Sanders, David Murray, of course, Sun Ra and Butch Morris, the free improviser to whom the album is also dedicated. Murray and Williams, Williams and Murray. Two great artists who, through their music, raise awareness of current topics, such as race, gender, class, economy and culture in modern America.
© Erwan Levigoureux
Piano: Orrin Evans.
Drums: Nasheet Waits.
Double bass: Jaribu Shahid.
Saxophone: David Murray.
Poetry, rap: Saul Williams.