Bryan Murray, “Lundblam!” (2014): Something Else! sneak peek

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Only one man in God’s creation is capable of pivoting from Haggard to hip-hop, and that’s renegade balto!-ist Bryan Murray. Murray is best known for his creative adaption of Merle Haggard tunes that convincingly recasts them into outlaw jazz adventures. But now, the leader of Bryan and the Haggards has his sights set on hip-hop.

Hip-hop doesn’t stand a chance.

Out of the basement of his abode, Murray has been concocting a strange brew of rap and jazz that’s nothing like the hybrid we’ve heard from Us3 or even fellow saxophonist Johnny Butler and his looped-up experiments. Murray’s tactic for this upcoming album is to find samples in the hip-hop vein and dub his skronky sounding balto! sax over it, with that balto! assuming the rapper’s role. The clash of these two worlds creates the kind of sparks that Murray thrives on.

One such track he set loose on Soundcloud just today (October 2) is “Lundblam!” The underlying sample for this Frankenstein is sourced from “On Jacation,” which actually comes from a band he’s in, Jon Lundbom’s Big Five Chord (it originally appeared on Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!). Lifting the threatening bass line from the original song, Murray somehow makes it even scarier and concocts his own, high-pitched counterpoint, repeating figure to go against it. The finishing touch is his snarky blowing on the balto!. If Murray was looking to bring a streetwise rapper’s attitude to avant-garde jazz, he hit the mark.

For another early result from Murray’s basement tapes, check out “Blastic,” a track he set loose just a few days earlier.

Bryan Murray hopes to have the complete project out in download form and ready for sale around Christmas time. There’s no telling how the whole thing will turn out given this guy’s imagination, but so far, so good.

Visit Bryan Murray’s website for more info.

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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