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David Murray: Creole

Creole is another global leap for the tireless David Murray. Where last year, Fo Deuk Revue suffered greatly from overarching musical and political ambition and aimless direction, this CD is more succinct in scope, which affords a more rewarding experience. Murray also assembled a more jazz-oriented (and better) core ensemble this time with flutist James Newton, drummer Billy Hart, pianist D.D. Jackson, and bass violinist Ray Drummond. Their supple rhythms, joyous melodies, and adventuresome solos are augmented by a troupe of Guadeloupean musicians playing traditional Caribbean instruments (ka drum, dibass drums, guitar).

Eschewing the embarrassingly bad funk-fusion that plagued Fo Deuk Revue, Murray places heavier emphasis on the indigenous stylings of the Guadeloupean music, especially on the wistful waltz, “Flor Na Paul,” the entrancing hymn, “Savon de Toilette,” and the romantic, “Tonte Vontarde.” Even Murray’s customary burly tone sounds refreshingly relaxed on this date. He does however engage in his trademark high-register improvisational shrieks on the guitar/saxophone duet, “Guadeloupe Sunrise.”

In the ever-flowing rush of David Murray releases, it’s becomes increasingly hard to distinguish the truly inspired from the remarkably indifferent. Creole is one that rises above the heap with each listen.

Originally Published