Dave Burrell and David Murray Daybreak
Gazell GJCD 4002
1. Daybreak (Dave Burrell) 12:03
2. Sketch #1 (David Murray) 9:49
3. Blue Hour (Dave Burrell) 13:45
4. Qasbah Rendezvous (Dave Burrell) 8:21
Recorded March 30th 1989 at Morning Star Studio, Springhouse, PA, USA
Produced by Sam Charters
Dave Burrell (p)
David Murray (ts, bcl)
I always think that Dave And David are an unlikely pairing. Burrell’s piano playing is angular and spiky, and he likes abstraction and high-end trills; while Murray’s sax and clarinet style is full-throttle gospel-soaked emotion with a strong attachment to melody. But they are both rooted in the tradition of black jazz. This record features a great collection of duets, and reveals a long-term partnership in which they developed a love for each other’s playing, and a distinctive approach to the music which allows each personality to prosper in the company of the other.
They actually recorded over 14 LPs together, including the other duo performances on Brother to Brother, Windward Passages, and In Concert, and the classic DIW quartet recordings Spirituals, Deep River, Lovers, and Ballads. I think they play notably differently together, than when compared with their performances apart. I think they play notably differently together, than when compared with their performances apart.
I think this is something to do with that respect and interest in the jazz tradition. While this record is far from the sorts of investigation of earlier styles of jazz that both musicians had explored, it is deeply rooted in the emotional practices of those traditions. Murray’s sax seems to soar above Burrell’s piano, to reach ecstatic heights. Once you know that Burrell has a fascination with the music of Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson, and the early influences of blues and gospel on jazz you can hear it in his playing, and you can start to understand why he makes such a satisfactory foil for Murray’s gospel-free-swing style. Burrell’s a much more expansive player than Murray, and as Murray takes the emotive line it allows Burrell to be more acerbic.
It’s Dave Burrell’s composing skills that dominate here, and he produces some lovely themes for the recording date which ebb and flow in the performances. Murray seems much more at home once the playing settles into some form of organisation, but he’s more than happy to match the piano player’s complex lines in duals like the one that opens 'Blue Hour'.
This album features Murray’s most ‘out’ playing of the 1980s, and it is interesting to note that he recorded this at the same time as Ming’s Samba for Columbia, and while he was releasing music for Bob Thiele’s Red Barron; all of the latter tended to the mainstream of the ‘jazz revival’ of the late 80s and early 90s. The production credits go to Sam Charters, who discogs.com suggests is jazz and blues historian Samuel B. Charters. This is probably correct because (if my memory serves me correctly) in the 1990s Gazell, while originally a Scandinavian label, was owned by Sonet (which was previously owned by Charters).