A SANCTUARY WITHIN packs some surprises. For one, hearing David Murray work with the master free jazz drummer Sunny Murray in the context of relatively traditional jazz turns out to be an absolute delight. The exotic textures added by Kahil El' Zabar are also new to Murray's canon, although Zabar's playing of the ashiko and earth drum are incorporated seamlessly into the compositions.
A SANCTUARY WITHIN, like much of Murray's work from this period, defies categorization. It combines traditional and modern elements of jazz and adds a healthy dose of African rhythms to the mix. Murray himself would argue that categorizing jazz only serves to damage the art form. One is tempted to agree with him when he suggests simply calling it music, and leaving it at that.
...has a warm, earthy feel that emphasizes the body tones of the bass and every contact of the percussion.... disciplined exercises in rhythm, melody and harmony, worth hearing for yourself...
...what is ultimately satisfying about the collection is the manner in which the players deftly run the music's stylistic gamut with ease, infusing titles like Overwater's 'Mountain Song' with the dreamy romanticism Ben Webster would be proud of...