|It’s been 28 years since David Murray, along with Andrew Cyrille and Johnny Mbizo Dyani, played at the festival in Willisau. After listening for the first time after a quarter of a century, it brings memories—a flashback to the ’70s. It shows us an effervescent world that easily sinks into a melancholic veil of nostalgia. Wasn’t it exciting back then, when those who are fifty now were still dreaming their wild dreams, and when then-fresh alternative life plans were material for public discourse, or when still unspoiled musical views of life found their respective stages, among others in Moers and Willisau? The Woodstock years were not over yet, and Murray’s concert in Willisau is a valuable document of those years. He belonged to the top group of young competitors, a strong voice among the improvisors. New Jazz was still in the process of freeing itself, and had little interest in the patterns of earlier periods. It seached for longlasting meanings, through its choices of musical material and the trend-setting titles for its pieces. Post-modernity was a term that was not yet on everyone’s lips. — Ulrich Kurt
Recorded at a Swiss jazz festival in 1978, saxophonist David Murray signified a young-blood on the global jazz scene, possessing a distinctive line of attack, conveying style and ferocious inprov acumen. And what a gala this is! Sounding as fresh and vital nearly three decades later, the band pulls out the proverbial stops.
The musicians judiciously parallel the intimations of the album title, by offering a multidimensional tour de force of progressive jazz marked with burning intensity and spiritual overtones. On the nearly twenty-minute opener “3D Family,” Murray rephrases a vacillating and jazz-waltz driven motif, spiced up with sugary overtones and an endearing hook. With vocal-like attributes he improvises atop the all-star rhythm section of South African bassist Johnny Mbizo Dyani and American drummer Andrew Cyrille.
They slice, dice, and soar heavenward. Yet, they communicate solstice and introspection during the extended workout titled “Patricia.” Elsewhere, the artists align for a sequence of frenzied, free-form excursions marked by climactically consummated opuses and cumulative firepower. This wondrously recorded reissue offers a timeless snapshot of progressive jazz. The trio was at the top of its game here. – Glenn Astarita