homepage > artists > artist in detail

Sunny Murray

Being one of the few living legends of jazz isn’t easy, specially when the musician in question is pointed as one of the great “inventors” of his instrument, the drumkit, with the same importance as Baby Dodds or Gene Krupa. That responsability is carried by the free jazz drummer per excelence, Sunny Murray, the polyrhythmic motor behind Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Byard Lancaster, Frank Lowe and, presently, Sabir Mateen and Assif Tsahar. There’s a great story about the years Murray spent playing with Taylor. At the beginning of their partnership, the young percussionist told him that he found how to play 5/5, at what the pianist anwered that is impossible to do. The Oklahoma born musician showed him imediatly the contrary, for Cecil Taylor’s happy amazement. To play with this other revolutionary, Sunny Murray started to add “natural sounds” to the beats and to explore the pulsations inside the sounds, developing the idea that rhythm is in the sound and not necessarily in the beat. This, he applied since then with everyone that crossed his way, Portuguese duo Telectu included. That’s what he does in the recordings with late tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler, among them the very special soundtrack for “New York Eye and Ear Control”, the experimental film by Michael Snow. And that’s what we hear in the albums under his own name, like “Homage to Africa” or “Sunny’s Time Now”, and in the practices of many free drummers influenced by his discoveries and techniques. Having followers make him proud: “I’m glad to have been a forefather for a new generation of music. That means a lot to me; I don’t have any bread, because of the way the system goes, so I’m very proud of my role in the history of creative music”, he said in an interview.

Sunny Murray's records on clean feed
Quartetos OUT OF STOCK
  distribution contacts