David McMurray

My Brother and Me: The Best of Dave McMurray

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This compilation by Dave McMurray is drawn from the saxophonist's three albums for HipBop Records -- Peace of Mind (1999), Soul Searching (2001), and Nu Life Stories (2003). Nothing has been licensed from his first album, The Dave McMurray Show (1995), released on Warner Bros. Records. Two tracks, "My Brother and Me" and "The Jazz Life," have been remixed, and there are three previously unreleased tracks, "Feel the Need," "Just an Illusion," and a version of the Marvin Gaye hit "I Want You." McMurray, who earns a credit for programming in addition to playing tenor, soprano, and alto sax on different tracks, is very much involved in the creation of the contemporary jazz sound of the music, with its electronic percussion backing tracks and frequent prominent vocals from several different singers. But he rarely gets lost in the shuffle, unlike some of his contemporary jazz peers, and his playing displays considerable bite and invention, not just providing slight variations on the melodies, but often going off in interesting directions. Some key guest stars, notably Bob James and George Duke, also make strong contributions. Still, this is music that will best be appreciated by contemporary jazz fans, while more traditional listeners will be put off by its cross-genre tendencies.

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