Something Else! sneak peek: David Murray Infinity Quartet ft. Gregory Porter, “Army of the Faithful” (2013)

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The word is out, David Murray is back with what should be an exciting new quartet, consisting of pianist Marc Cary, bassist Jaribu Shahid and drummer Nasheet Waits. The Infinity Quartet effectively replaces Murray’s Black Saint Quartet (which featured Andrew Cyrille on drums) and the album they’re poised to release will be called Be My Monster Love on Motéma Music this June 11th. This release will feature some cameos by Macy Gray and Bobby Bradford, Murray’s former teacher.

It’s too soon to say what the album as a whole will sound like, but we have an advance track from it to dissect, one that boasts another notable guest spot, this one by the red-hot soul-jazz crooner, Gregory Porter. “Army of the Faithful” is gospel jazz, to put it precisely, but with these cast of characters, there’s nothing pedestrian in the way that style is played.

Porter sings about clapping our hands, stomping our feet and making a joyful noise for the Lord. He’s singing it with purposeful soul that’s deep as the ocean floor. Cary is on the churchy organ and plays with the kind of zeal we used to hear from Murray cohort Don Pullen that isn’t heard in a church but if it were, there’d be more folks attending services on Sunday. And Murray, with the winds of a rich history of traditional and abstract jazz at his back, blows familiar lines in an unfamiliar tone. Fire and brimstone pours out of the bell of that sax.

Murray is still imaginative in his conceptions for albums well into his fourth decade of recording, and the smart money is on Be My Monster Love to be another winner. “Army of the Faithful” is a glimpse that only serves to strengthen those odds.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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