David Murray, the groundbreaking, free-blowing tenor sax player from New York, will play a one-night guest spot Thursday at Hobart’s Jazz Lounge.
This is a major event in Spokane’s abbreviated jazz calendar, for Murray is one of the contemporary giants. A founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, he also has produced scores of albums under his own name since the mid-‘70s, and a stunning number of them are already considered classics.
The essential force behind Murray’s work is his absorption of the work of the masters: “I always give it to the older cats, the source - Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Paul Gonsalves. Stick Sonny Rollins in there, you really got it covered. Then (John) Coltrane will pop up a bit, you put in a little Bird (Charlie Parker), and then you’re finished. That’s all the information you need. Everything else is derivative.”
Born and raised in the East Bay, Murray graduated from Berkeley’s progressive St. Mary’s High School and attended Pomona College outside Los Angeles, where he studied with John Carter and Arthur Blythe.
Murray arrived in New York in 1975 and established himself as a star of the loft scene. Over the past 20 years, he has recorded a vast body of work, most of which is unavailable in the United States but which tops the charts in Japan and Europe.
His fluid style ranges from romantic, lyrical ballads to searing avant-garde experimentalism. He takes the tenor sax to its limits and then finds new ways to make it sing.
Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are $10 at Street Music and G&B; outlets.