Sunny Murray’s Untouchable Factor
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!