BLUE BRASS feat. David Murray
Murray was born in Oakland, California, United States. He attended Pomona College for two years as a member of the class of 1977, ultimately receiving an honorary degree in 2012. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Archie Shepp. He gradually evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model, choosing instead to incorporate elements of mainstream players Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Paul Gonsalves into his mature style. Despite this, he recorded a tribute to Coltrane, Octet Plays Trane, in 1999. He played a set with the Grateful Dead at a show on September 22, 1993, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. His 1996 tribute to the Grateful Dead, Dark Star, was also critically well received.
Murray was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. He has recorded or performed with musicians such as Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Olu Dara, Tani Tabbal, Butch Morris, Donal Fox, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Sunny Murray (no relation), Ed Blackwell, Johnny Dyani, Fred Hopkins, Don Pullen, Randy Weston and Steve McCall. David Murray's use of the circular breathing technique has enabled him to play astonishingly long phrases.