His octet was always the perfect setting for tenor saxophonist David Murray, large enough to generate power but not as out of control as many of his big-band performances. Murray contributed all five originals (including "Ming" and "Dewey's Circle") and arrangements, and is in superior form on both tenor and bass clarinet. The "backup crew" is also quite notable: altoist Henry Threadgill, trumpeter Olu Dara, cornetist Butch Morris, trombonist George Lewis, pianist Anthony Davis, bassist Wilbur Morris, and drummer Steve McCall. These avant-garde performances (reissued on CD) are often rhythmic enough to reach a slightly larger audience than usual, and the individuality shown by each of these major players is quite impressive. Recommended.
by Scott Yanow