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David Murray-Kahil El'Zabar Duo

  • Café Coda 113 West Dayton Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Saxophonist David Murray emerged from the NYC free-jazz loft scene in the mid-1970s, standing out from the crowd with his knowledge of pre-Coltrane jazz traditions while still holding his own with his free-blowing contemporaries. While his playing is deeply influenced by older musicians such as Coleman Hawkins, he’s never been anything close to a traditionalist; Murray has worked with artists as diverse as Pharaoh Sanders, Saul Williams, Jack DeJohnette, Macy Gray and the Grateful Dead (his version of "Dark Star" is pretty amazing). Massively prolific throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Murray’s solo work leans towards lively large ensemble compositions that provide plenty of room for group improvisation and Murray's own kaleidoscopic soloing. The 1987 version of his composition "Morning Song" (below) illustrates his ability to create music steeped in jazz history that's still avant-garde. At Cafe Coda Murray will be performing with his longtime collaborator Kahil El'Zabar, a Chicago-based percussionist and AACM member whose group Ritual Trio has worked with Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. —Ian Adcock