Shadows (TCB/New Arts Int.)

Im Booklet bekommt Mark Murphy Schützenhilfe von seiner Kollegin Sheila Jordan, obwohl er sie eigentlich gar nicht bräuchte: "Zu sagen, Mark Murphy sei ein Jazzsänger, ist eine Untertreibung. Er steht weit außerhalb dieser Kategorie. Er ist ein Poet, Schauspieler und über all dem ein warmherziger Mensch mit immensem musikalischem Talent." Viel muss man dem eigentlich nicht mehr hinzufügen. Die Aufnahme "Shadows", entstanden 1996 in einem slowenischen Studio im Quintett unter anderem mit Saxofonist Karlheinz Miklin und Pianist Fritz Pauer und nun aus den Tiefen des Archivs ans Licht gebracht, ist ein Juwel des darstellenden, erzählenden Gesangs. Murphy lässt die Musik laufen, mal in den samtenen Fluss seines faszinierend profund agierenden Baritons eingebettet, dann wieder offensiv, witzig, kommunikativ improvisierend.

Seine Präsenz füllt die imaginäre Bühne aus, ohne die Band zu dominieren, sein Charme bezirzt auch aus der historischen Distanz des Hörers. Seine Fähigkeit, Wörter und Sätze über Phrasierungen, Nuancierungen mit Bedeutung zu füllen, und sein markantes Timbre sind schlicht faszinierend. Mark Murphy ist und bleibt einer der großen Sänger und auch Komponisten der vergangenen Jahrzehnte, ein Meister im Hintergrund: grundlegend und bewegend. rd


Throughout Mark Murphy's remarkably multifaceted recording career, spanning seven decades, there have been only a couple of gaps, the longest stretching from 1991 to1996. Now, from the tail end of that fallow period come these eight tracks, recorded in Slovenia with a quartet of European musicians - saxophonist/flutist Karlheinz Miklin, pianist Fritz Pauer, bassist Ewald Oberleitner and drummer Dusan Novakov - and at last released by TCB.
In recent years, Murphy's vocals have grown steadiliy feebler, only the slightest traces of his once-glorious robustness and imagination still evident. But back in June of ``96, Murphy just entered his mid-60s, his vigor and improvisational brilliance were still in peak form. Just two of the tracks, both then-new to Murphy´s vast repertoire, are covers: a scat-wirled "If I should Lose You" and a "Lilac Wine" that gloriously weds Murphy´s beat-generation vibe to emboldened inebriation. The six remaining tracks are Murphy originals, five co-written with Miklin and/or Pauer. The gentle, promising "Dawn" makes way for the desolation of "Empy Room" and staccato buoyancy of "Next Page". The wordless "Hodnik", at once yearning and threatening, complete with an unsettling stretch of heavy breathing, is Murphy at his extemporizing best. Even more bizarre and compelling ia the 10-and-a-half-minute closer, "Humanity Ltd.", an otherwordly mind-trip exploring mankind´s facility for cruelty.

"Jazz Podium"

Vokals zum Jahresausklang

Der Glamour-Faktor geht auch dem US-Sänger Mark Murphy völlig ab, aber er hat dafür andere Vorzüge: eine dunkel gefärbte Charakterstimme, den Willen, zum Kern eines Songs vorzustoßen ohne glatte Gefälligkeit, dazu Authenzität und Leidenschaft. Die vorliegende Aufnahme "Shadows" (TCB 33802) ist eine Wiederveröffentlichung aus dem Jahre 1996. Mit seinen Begleitmusikern Fritz Pauer p, Karlheinz Miklin sax, Ewald Oberleitner b und Dusan Novakov dr absolviert Murphy ein Power-Programm selbstgeschriebener Nummern, die Band und Sänger als ein Ensemble mit Ecken und Kanten zeigen Chapeau! Hubert Ickerott

"Jazz Journal"


Since 1988 TCB´s Peter Schmidlin has been letting us in on hidden treasures from various European sources featuring American giants such as Quincy Jones, Cannonbal Adderley. Woody Shaw and Buck Clayton. This latest, apreviously unreleased studio album from Slovenia in the mid-90s, adds to that distinguished roster. This comes from a time when Murphy was living and teaching in Europa and immersed in the poetic, theatrical, harmonically piquant style that has characterized his music the past four decades or so. It contrasts significantly with the Songbook persona heard on his late 50s and early 60s albums, as if the advent of rock and free improvisation in the mid-60s had a lasting effect on him. The latter is evident on one of the two standards here, If I should Lose You, which acquires a rock beat and draws from Murphy a typically off-the-wall scat solo. His senese of pitch is clearly flawless but when it comes to improvising, expression trumps property, with exhilarating reasults. When delivering lyrics, his accuracy is never in doubt, and manifested in the subtlety of his speech-like emphases and inflections. I suppose the fascination in Murphy´s mature style lies partly in this contrats - technically speaking, between control and abandon and emotionally speaking, between resignation and virtual hysteria.

Murphy may be one of TCB´s U.S. stars but you wouldn´t know that the whole band wasn´t out of NYC. The six originals range in a style from the lament of Empty Room to the hardbop of Next Page and all were collaborations between Murphy and Miklin and/or Pauer. They together produced another important session to add to the resplendent discography of the unique Murphy, whom CD annotater Sheila Jordan describes as "a poet, an actor and above all a soulful human being". Mark Gilbert


Mark Murphy feat. Karlheinz Miklin
TCB Musik

Vokalist Mark Murphy hat in den 1990er Jahren mehrmals an der Grazer Musikhochschule unterrichtet und dabei den Saxophonisten und Flöter Karlheinz Miklin und auch den Pianisten Fritz Pauer kennengelernt. Im Juni 1996 gingen die drei Musiker - mit dem Bassisten Ewald Oberleitner und dem Drummer Dusan Novakov - in Maribor in ein Studio, um ein Album mit Eigenkompositionen aufzunehmen, die sie zuvor gemeinsam erarbeitet hatten.

Das Ergebnis ist ein sehr innovatives und gefülvolles - stellenweise auch sehr freies - Album, das erst jetzt erstmals erschienen ist. Murphy hatte zuvor zu einigen Kompositionen von Pauer und Miklin Lyrics geschrieben, die er unbedingt aufnehmen wollte.

18 Jahre nach der Studio-Session ist das fertige Album nun erschienen - Fritz Pauer ist leider zwichenzeitlich verstorben und Murphy lebt in einem Künstleraltersheim in New York. Leider sind in den Linernotes die Lyrics nicht abgedruckt. Ansonsten ist das sehr gehaltvolle Album ein Leckerbissen. woolf



You don't normally think of jazz vocalist Murphy as a writer but this set finds him having a hand in most of the set card. A 1996 date cut with a bunch of cats you don't normally associate with Murphy, this out of the ordinary event kind of date, which had been previously unreleased, is a mind bender and an ear opener which will really rock his fans. This is not a label driven, assembly line project made to cash in on name value, this is work coming from the heart of everyone involved. The kind of hot stuff that doesn't come around often .

Mark Murphy Shadows TCB Records ***1/2

Singer Murphy here with powerhouse Austrian saxophonist/flautist Karlheinz Miklin, pianist Fritz Pauer (1943-2012), Ewald Oberleitner on bass, and Dusan Novakov, drums. Never out before Shadows, just over an hour of music, was recorded in June 1996 three years after Murphy and Miklin live album Just Jazz was released. At the time of recording this album Murphy was 64, the album made in a studio in the Slovenian city of Maribor. Singer Sheila Jordan in the liner notes recalls hearing Murphy for the first time in a Greenwich Village club called the Page 3. Hearing him sing 'Willow Weep For Me', she writes, meant something special. "I was blown away by his voice and deep feeling."

That quality and improvisational resource are definitely factors on an engrossing album, idiosyncracies notwithstanding. Tunes are 'Dawn', 'If I Should Lose You', 'Empty Room', a song Murphy wrote with Pauer, 'Next Page', introduced by Miklin with what sounds like a melodic variant on the theme of Wayne Shorter's 'Black Nile', the magisterial James Shelton drinking song 'Lilac Wine' part-spoken word, part deep vocal meditation a song Jeff Buckley had covered on his classic album Grace released a couple of years before. 'Hodnik' written with Miklin and Pauer, magnificent title track 'Shadows' Murphy penned, again with Pauer, Miklin switching to flute, and finally Murphy's experimental slightly over-long original 'Humanity Ltd' with its heavy recitation of genocide and war complete the affair. Master at work. SG

New Mark Murphy -- Shadows TCB (Switzerland), 1996.

A lost session from one of our favorite jazz singers ever - recorded in the mid 90s with a very relaxed, laidback group - in a style that takes us back to some of Mark Murphy's best material from the 70s! The songs are mostly mellow, which allows Mark to hit some of his more expressive styles - that great way of reaching for a note that we love so much - which can really transform familiar tunes, and really illuminate the original compositions on the record! And fortunately, there's a number of those - great new tunes that feature lyrics by Murphy, and instrumentation by either pianist Fritz Pauer or reedman Karlheinz Miklin, who both play in the quartet on the album. Titles include "Dawn", "Empty Room", "Next Page", "Lilac Wine", "Hodnik", and "Shadows".