18 July 2018

Sunny Murray's Untouchable Factor at Studio Rivbea, NY, June 1975

Sunny Murray’s Untouchable Factor
Studio Rivbea
New York City, NY

01 Untitled Improvisation

Total time: 1:01:55

Byard Lancaster - bass clarinet & reeds
David Murray - tenor saxophone
Kazutoki Umezu - alto saxophone
Juma Sultan - electric bass
Monnette Sudler - electric guitar
Sunny Murray - drums

A few posts coming up on the masters who have passed away over the last year, starting with Sunny Murray. This is a 1975 tape of Sunny Murray's Untouchable Factor at the famed Studio Rivbea, run by Sam Rivers, probably derived from a radio broadcast, posted by carville on the Dime network and given a remaster upgrade by EN. With the post came a couple of paragraphs of "liner notes", from which I quote below:

"There will never be another Sunny Murray and this performance, a Loft Jazz history lesson in its own right straight from Sam Rivers' legendary Studio Rivbea at 24 Bond Street in Lower Manhattan at the peak of the era, illustrates several aspects of why. It's also somewhat unusual in that it has Juma Sultan -- who most notably played percussion with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock and on Dick Cavett's talk show in the summer of 1969, but began his musical life as a bass player -- on electric bass, which leads the ensemble into a few ostinato passages along the way that start to sound less like a fiery Free Jazz freakout and more like Miles Davis' "Dark Magus," or even the noodlier, jazzier improvs of 1971/72 King Crimson.

Of course it does feature plenty of those maelstrom Out pyrotechnics, and we certainly know that Sunny created something unprecedented and of a very high energy in his 81 years at the forefront of improvisation, idiomatic and not-so-idiomatic. The whole Free thing may never have gotten anywhere had he not done so much to lend rhythmic guidance and a controlled, furious drive to its silent ebbs and hot-lava flows, so please never forget Sunny, without whom the trajectory of the music we love would surely not have been the same. Beyond that, R.I.P. to the Maestro and of course do enjoy this remaster of an unbelievable and historic concert, transmitted by galaxy-class explorers from the heart of a golden age in the endless annals of Jazz lore.--EN"

I don't have much to add to that fulsome praise, except to note that Monette Sudler is still active in the Philly area and that Kazutoki Umezu has ratched up an extensive discography, of which I've heard nothing so far. Pehaps the regular Japanese expertise on this board might fill in the blanks?

More to come!


kinabalu said...



francisco santos said...


doghouse said...

Thanks a lot - much appreciated

daniel said...

thanks A LOT!!

BT said...

Many thanks

wightdj said...

Appreciated, thanks.

brian said...

very nice!

本田珠也 said...

Umezu san!!! Thank you very much!

indigonoir said...

Thank you kinabalu.

Wallofsound said...

Many thanks, kinabalu. Do you know the origin of this recording? It is the earliest Sunny Murray's Untouchable Factor I have come across. I'm most interested in how it fits into David Murray's career. It's only a few months after his earliest commercial recordings with Ted Daniel and William Hooker and just under a year before the Wildflowers sessions. What does EN FM master on the front cover refer to?

NYC Teen Central Writer's Club said...

thank you thank you thank you --can't wait to listen

kinabalu said...


I think your last question answers your first. From what I know, this is from a radio broadcast. I have no idea which radio station broadcast this performance, but most likely one in the New York area. EN is the person who remastered the original posting of this broadcast on Dime and also wrote the "liner notes", as it were.

correct silence said...

Hi Kinabalu
Could you re-post "Presenting Burton Greene"?
You have updated the post in 2013, if you have the lossless version it would be great, thanks in advance.

kinabalu said...


a new link has been posted at the original post and at the bottom of the "new links for old posts" thread.

jeff said...

Been away for a bit.. What a wonderful surprise to find this. Thanks kinabalu!!!Good to see you back.