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David Murray: The Tip

This 1994 date must have been a bit of a romp, a busman’s holiday, for the prolific David Murray, for it is certainly not one of his heavier recording dates. How could it be, with Sly Stone’s drug-hazed “Sex Machine” as its most extended piece? The cast and instrumentation is a tip-off that this is a foray into quasi-pop territory: guitarists Bobby Broom and Daryl Thompson, Miles Davis vets Darryl Jones on bass guitar, and Robert Irving lll on keyboards, drummer Toby Williams, and frequent collaborator hand drummer Kahlil El’Zabar are the core, with Olu Dara and wordist G’Ra added for one track. And it’s too bad G’Ra, with his authoritative pipes, was shortchanged by an egregious engineer’s cut-off on his feature, “Removen Veil.”

Elsewhere Murray’s sturdy and familiar line “Flowers for Albert” is given a rather sweet reggae lilt, and El’Zabar’s peace & blessings-laden “One World Family” bears his decent vocal and a positive aura; but c’mon David, we’ve come to expect more from you than wasting 14 minutes of precious recording time on a trifle like “Sex Machine.”

Originally Published