Improvisational Jazz Vocalist Mark Murphy at Iridium Jazz Club
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The last date listed for Mark Murphy was Friday November 27, 2009 / 10:30pm.
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Quotes & Highlights
“One of the major artists of our age.” —Stereo Review
“He is arguably the best male jazz singer in the business.” —New York Observer
“He is one of the true remaining jazz hipsters of our time.” —Jazziz Magazine
“There’s a party goin’ on in Mark’s head, and I want to go to it!’ —Liza Minnelli
“He is my equal.” —Ella Fitzgerald
MARK MURPHY is one of the world’s greatest – and hippest jazz vocalists. He has had a prolific 40 year career and is most noted for his definitive and unique vocalese and vocal improvisations with both melody and lyrics. He is the recipient of the 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001 Downbeat Magazine Readers Jazz Poll for Best Male Vocalist of the Year and is also the recipient of Six Grammy Award Nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Performance. He is also famous for his original lyrics to the jazz classics Stolen Moments and Red Clay.
Mark Murphy continues to tour internationally appearing at festivals, concerts, in the best jazz clubs and on television programs throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan.
At 74 years old Mark Murphy is a certifiable legend of song. Indeed, time has been good to his voice: a rich, virile, attractively craggy bass-baritone, etched with the wisdom of a fifty-year journey. It’s a sound that could have crept from the shadows of some smoky dive in a Robert Mitchum film noir. “Just listen to Mark Murphy, and the odds are in favor of your being provoked to extremes,’ declared the liner notes of his first LP, made for Decca in 1956. Murphy, the writer added, ‘is one of the great singers of our times.’
The evidence is on his new album, “Love Is What Stay” (Univerisal 2007) which may be the truest portrait ever of this quirky, artistically fearless, emotionally naked jazz singer. At an age when most vocalists have either called it quits or are coasting on the past, Mark is as restless as he was in the ’50s, when his career launched him on a Kerouacian road trip without end. In 2006 he went to Berlin, where he made this CD. On it, Mark dips into the songs of Johnny Cash, Oliver Nelson, Alan Jay Lerner, and Coldplay; recites some of his spacey, free-form poetry; unveils the latest of his dreamlike lyrics; and scats as freely as John Coltrane played.
Joining Mark is the same team that helped make his prior album, “Once to Every Heart” (Universal 2005), his biggest success in years. That was the project that united him with Till Brönner, Germany’s most popular and adventurous trumpeter. Born in 1971, Till has already earned a place among the best jazz minimalists. Beneath his ice-blue tone and cool swagger is a depth of feeling that ‘blew me away,’ says Mark; it sets Till far above most of today’s bloodless, scholarly jazz robots. As this album’s producer and bandleader, he gathered a group of young musicians that Mark adores. ‘I get their energy,’ he says. ‘It energizes me.’
Listening to Mark Murphy you will instantly understand that this artist is singing his life. The words, the notes, the intention of the song are all a part of the Artist himself.