Ming's Samba

David Murray

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Ming's Samba Review

by Scott Yanow

Although David Murray had already recorded a countless number of sessions as a leader by the late 1980's, Ming's Samba was his first on a large American label. Using an "in the tradition" rhythm section comprised of pianist John Hicks, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Ed Blackwell, Murray tears through the calypso "Ming's Samba," pays tribute to the joy (if not the style) of Fats Waller ("Rememberin' Fats"), plays a warm breathy ballad solo a la John Klemmer ("Nowhere Everafter"), has fun on the humorous tango "Spooning" and shows off the expected Eric Dolphy influence (although Eric never slap-tongued) on bass clarinet during "Walter's Waltz." Hicks has several brilliant solos on the complex material, Drummond is superlative in his backing of Murray (check out "Walter's Waltz") and the colorful Blackwell proves to be a perfect foil for the leader. A recommended release although this set will probably be difficult to find.

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