Special Quartet

David Murray

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Special Quartet Review

by Scott Yanow

When one reads the personnel on this CD, the potential seems enormous: tenor saxophonist David Murray, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Fred Hopkins, and drummer Elvin Jones. Murray was a good choice for the tenor slot because, although influenced by John Coltrane's adventurous spirit, he has never sounded like Coltrane, coming closer to the Ben Webster/Paul Gonsalves tradition but with a style of his own. In addition to Trane's "Cousin Mary" and "In a Sentimental Mood" (which Coltrane had recorded with Duke Ellington, and Murray takes as a duet with Tyner), the music includes three of the tenor's originals (including "3-D Family") and a Butch Morris song. The fresh material really pushes Tyner, who mostly sticks to standards with his own trio, while Jones sounds as passionate as usual. A successful outing full of mutual inspiration, this CD is easily recommended.

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