Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heaven Just Got Hipper




Jazz singer par excellence Mark Murphy died last week at the age of 83. Some singers edge over into jazz, like Sinatra and Tony Bennett, but Murphy was jazz through and through. He was a master of improvisation, but, as the clip here demonstrates, he could be true to the song as written while putting the jazz feeling into every note. Notice how he shaped and attacked notes with clear intention. Here's a nice obit in The Nation. Farewell, Mark Murphy. Heaven just got hipper.

UPDATE: 11-7-15
Murphy was also a master of vocalese, the art of setting lyrics to legendary jazz solos and tunes. He wrote words for many jazz standards, and the words were really pretty good. And of course performed his vocalese tracks with aplomb.

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