Posts Tagged ‘ Dave McMurray ’

Dave McMurray – Music Is Life

Dave McMurray’s Blue Note Records debut, Music Is Life (out May 18), is a reunion of sorts, given the long history the saxophonist shares with the label’s president, and fellow Detroit native, Don Was. McMurray was a member of Was’ genre-defying unit Was (Not Was), first working together on the band’s self-titled 1981 debut. He’s played on all of the band’s albums and many other Was produced projects in the years since. Hear the lead track “Naked Walk” on the Jazz Now! playlist.

When Was signed McMurray to Blue Note, the saxophonist says that he gave him no imperatives as to which artistic paths to take. “It was one of those situations in which he just said, ‘Do it,’” McMurray explains.

“I know Dave’s playing really well. He doesn’t bullshit,” Was praises. “He’s never playing licks for the sake of playing licks. He’s not trying to impress people with what all he knows about music or about his dexterity over the instrument. It’s all about honest expressions.” Continue reading

Dave McMurray – I Know About Love

Reading the biography of Detroit based sax player Dave McMurray reveals astounding facts. He has worked with a diverse range of artists, including Bob James, Kem, Kid Rock, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Geri Allen, The Rolling Stones, Gladys Knight and Bootsie Collins. A saxophonist between jazz art and commercialism Dave always present his strong personality in his live shows.

His playing and recording for Kem and Kid Rock was certainly a time consuming situation. Fortunately Dave had enough time between tours and recording sessions to finish his own project. After a long hiatus we can now listen to his newest album I Know About Love. Beside great names as Marcus Miller, George Duke, Bob James, and Kem Dave counts on his fellow musicians like Al Turner (bass), Ron Otis (drums), Luis Resto (piano), Wayne Gerard (guitars), Darrell ‘Peanut’ Smith (bass), Herschel Boone (vocals), Brian O’Neal (keyboards) and many more.

The album starts with the mysterious Time #4. Far away from the mainstream smooth jazz Dave presents a Tablas-driven piece in full groove. The funky I Luv You Like Jazz introduces Dave’s dog Snoop Diggity Dawg. The song speaks for McMurray’s bizarre humor that is rooted deep in the funk. Bootsie Collins’ influence is undeniable.

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Dave McMurray – I Know About Love

Hailing from Detroit, Dave McMurray has kept very busy over the last few years. In addition to being the Music Director and featured soloist with Motown R & B artist KEM, he also toured with Bob James, pianist Geri Allen’s electric band, composer Mark Isham, and Rai Artist Cheb Khalid. He also performed with the eclectic funk band Was (Not Was) for the first time in 8 years. For the last four years Dave has been featured soloist with Kid Rock.

He has recorded with Was (Not Was), The Rolling Stones, The  B 52’s, Herbie Hancock, BB King, Bonnie Raitt, The Temptations, Patti Smith, Bootsy Collins, Gladys Knight, Nancy Wilson, Fred Hammond, and many others. Dave McMurray is held in high regard….a musician’s musician. A multi-instrumentalist, who as well as playing tenor, soprano, and alto saxophones, adds the mastery of the flute and keyboards to his array of talents. In addition to recording 5 CD’s under his own name, he has produced and remixed for artists like The Rolling Stones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Elton John, and Geri Allen. He also wrote and produced 2 songs for Bob James’ Grammy nominated CD “Joyride”. He was awarded a gold record for his production on Elton John’s song, “The Pacifier”, included on the CD “All Of My Children” for pediatric AIDS.

Previous CD releases have been met with high critical acclaim with Echoes rating his “Soul Searching” CD as an essential album to have in your collection. Blues & Soul magazine noted “the new version of “Walk In The Night” (leading off this release) is a real revelation”.

Dave just finished his first CD in 3 years, entitled I Know About Love. It is a collection of dark, hypnotic grooves, that pull you in and never lets you go. The first song is an exotic original named “Time #4”. Next is a song called “The First Night In Africa” featuring master bassist Marcus Miller. Dave also did a cover of KEM’s first hit “Love Calls” that features KEM. Next is “I’m Coming Up, a stepper that features George Duke. The CD also features Bob James, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Herschel Boone, Eminem’s keyboardist Luis Resto, and stunning vocalist Jessica Wagner-Cowan.

The album arrived today at CDBaby.

A Conversation with Dave McMurray

Bob James toured with his quartet in October in Germany. The line-up was Bob James (piano and keyboards), Damon Warmack (bass), Ken Scott (drums), and Dave McMurray (Sax and flute). I had the opportunity to talk with Dave McMurray after the rehearsal.

HBH: Hello David!

DM: How you doing?

HBH: Fine. We’ve seen each other a long time ago in London.

DM: Oh yeah! (Laugh)

HBH: What did you do after this?

DM: Well, the last few years I’ve been playing a lot. I’m kind of juggling between three projects. I’ve been playing with Bob and I also with R & B artist KEM. I’ve been musical director for him for a few years. For the last two years I’ve been playing in a totally different situation with Kid Rock! (laugh) So, it pretty much started out as one show and then it went into two weeks, and then it turned into two years. I’m just finishing up, while he’s recording a new CD.

Continue reading A Conversation With Dave McMurray