THE HILL features the trio of David Murray, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Joe Chambers captured after a week long engagement of live shows in Manhattan. The repertoire consists of compositions by Murray, his long-time associate Butch Morris, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. Murray has a knack for working magic whether playing solo, duo or in a big band, but there is something particularly adept about the way Davis and Chambers support his saxophone's every improvisational twist and turn.
The song Ellington penned for the Impulse session with John Coltrane, "Take the Coltrane," is interpreted here with a joyful energy and vitality; conversely, the Strayhorn classic "Chelsea Bridge" is gracefully understated. The liner notes to one of Murray's records call him perhaps one of the most recorded musicians in jazz; one can't help but think that, given the uniqueness of each recording, this no more than his due. THE HILL is no exception. It's a joy to hear.