John Murph

John’s Contributions

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05/20/10    Features

Tia Fuller: Hustle & Flow

John Murph profiles young saxophonist who balances solo career with role as back-up to Beyonce

04/18/10    Features

Jose James: Two Sides, Same Coin

With a pair of different yet equally dynamic releases, vocalist José James arrives

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02/01/10    Features

Dee Dee Bridgewater: Drama Queen

Dee Dee Bridgewater and Billie Holiday share a surprising kinship. But can Bridgewater, a madcap, theatrical vocalist, pay convincing homage to Lady Day, jazz’s most mythologized singer?

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December 2009    Features

Uncovered: Album Art in the Digital Age

Can jazz’s rich tradition of eye-catching cover art survive in the MP3 era?

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10/06/09    Features

Online Exclusive: Madeleine Peyroux

The chanteuse becomes a full-fledged songwriter on Bare Bones

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May 2009    Features

Nat King Cole: Getting Their Kicks

An eclectic group of contemporary artists reinvents Cole classics

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December 2008    Features

Roy Hargrove: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

A mysterious bandleader who leads by example

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November 2008    Artist Profiles

Corey Wilkes: Chi-City Swagger

When musicians are as versatile as Corey Wilkes, the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing which direction to take on a debut album. The 29-year-old Chicago native has employed his crackling tone and improvisational swagger to a handful of forward-thinking...

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September 2008    Artist Profiles

Bobby Previte: Watch the Music

Without a doubt, there’s a cinematic allure to Bobby Previte’s latest disc, Set the Alarm for Monday (Palmetto). Steering his current ensemble, the New Bump, the veteran drummer/composer invents dreamy soundscapes that sound as if they were lifted from some...

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August 2008    Artist Profiles

Nicholas Payton: Musical Middle Ground

Five years ago, soon after the release of Sonic Trance (Warner Bros.), trumpeter Nicholas Payton vowed never to record the same way again. He drew a line in the proverbial sand, marking a break from his critically acclaimed string of acoustic postbop discs...

07/14/08    Concerts

Seun Kuti + Fela’s Egypt 80

Familial comparisons are often inept yet inexorable when it comes to young artists extending the legacies of their predecessors. As for 25-year-old Seun Kuti, he not only has to grapple with being compared to his father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Nigerian...

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07/08/08    Concerts

Hank Jones Invitation Series at Montreal Jazz Festival

If there were to be only one jazz musician to grace the cover of AARP The Magazine, the award-winning monthly lifestyle periodical targeted to people over 50, it would have to be Hank Jones. A consummate pianist, Jones was just a month shy of celebrating...

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June 2008    Artist Profiles

Empirical: British Invasion

In January, launched by the concerted efforts of arts councils and media outlets on both sides of the Atlantic, a platoon of more than 100 U.K. jazz musicians swarmed the 2008 conference for the International Association for Jazz Education in Toronto. Among...

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May 2008    News

Blue Note Records: Hip-Hop-Hard-Bop

Just as today’s jazzers often yearn for their music’s halcyon years—whether it’s ’30s swing, ’40s bebop or ’50s hard-bop—hip-hop has its own generation gaps, with many aging B-Boys longing for what is commonly referred to as the Golden Age (1987 to 1995...

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April 2008    Artist Profiles

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin: Don’t Fake the Funk

For someone renowned for an economical approach to piano improvisation and composing, Nik Bärtsch speaks rather effusively about his “Zen-funk” philosophy. His lengthy, involved explanations trail off like fanciful Chick Corea solos, making fascinating...

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March 2008    Artist Profiles

Simone: Like Mother, Like Daughter

Having an icon such as Nina Simone as a mother, a music career should almost be a no-brainer. Then again, some musicians try to dissuade their children from the music business in hopes of protecting them from financial risks, the hard knocks of life on the...

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About John Murph

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John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music, art and pop culture journalist. His work has been published in JazzTimes, Down Beat, JazzWise and Vibe magazines; in the Washington Post, the Washington Post Express and the Washington City Paper newspapers; and on the NPR, BET Interactive and the Root Web sites. He also hosts a bi-weekly radio show on WPFW-FM (89.3).