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  Listen Up! 5/23/03 Listen Up!

Friday, May 23

David Murray, “Speaking In Tongues,” Justin Time Records. If you’ve ever seen David Murray play, you know he’s just about the greatest musician alive in this world. There are plenty of examples to prove this right here on this record, though it’s weird to me that he’s working in a somewhat pedestrian rhythmic context much of the time. This is a gospel album, with the great vocalist Fontella Bass on board now and again. Her rendition of “How I Got Over,” in which she and Murray’s tenor vie for closer heavenly contact with God, is magnificent, and worth the price of admission alone. There are cuts here which meander a little, and then all of a sudden Murray bursts through the clouds and the sun shines bright and furious. Far from his best album, this still has enough magic moments to keep me interested.

--Steve Pick

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