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Murphy, Mark: Midnight Mood

Here’s an album brought back from the past. Jazz vocalist Mark Murphy was well into his career by the time his classic album Midnight Mood was released in 1968 on the SABA record label, a precursor of MPS Records. On the album Murphy put together an exceptionally talented group of musicians including:

Jimmy Deuchar (trumpet)
Åke Persson (trombone)
Derek Humble (alto saxophone)
Ronnie Scott (tenor saxophone)
Sahib Shihab (baritone saxophone, flute)
Francy Boland (piano)
Jimmy Woode (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

Murphy’s crooner style is very much influenced by Frank Sinatra. He has a great voice, at the top of his craft throughout this fabulous trip down memory lane. Although I have not heard the original recording, listening to this enhanced version does bring back memories of a certain time when jazz was at the forefront of musical exploration.

The disc begins with Ellington’s “Jump For You” and Murphy’s soulful crooner delivery. It’s an excellent rendition with Murphy’s stylish vocals a near perfect fit within the band. The trumpet and sax solos are stellar. Next is the bluesy “I Don’t Want Nothin”, an infectious swinging piece with more great horn work. Deuchar’s trumpet reigns supreme on the slightly off kilter “Why And How” and with the lovely ballad “Alone Together” his muted trumpet solo is absolutely fantastic. The band’s romantic side comes through again in the lovely “You Fascinate Me So” featuring melodious piano. It’s also one of Murphy’s best performances on the disc. A moodier and darker feel gives “Hopeless” a different vibe, perhaps even a bit unsettling if that’s even possible for a love song. The Latin infused “Sconsolato” is another solid track with the full band making their mark. The second side really has some fine ballads completely suitable for quiet contemplation or perhaps settling in with that special someone.

Bottom line; Midnight Mood is a tasteful slice of bebop and romantic jazz that will surely put a smile on your face. Highly recommended.

In October of 2015 Mike Murphy passed away at the age of 83. The world of jazz has mourned his passing every day since. R.I.P.

Track Listing:
1. Jump For Joy (4:40)
2. I Don’t Want Nothin’ (2:47)
3. Why And How (2:58)
4. Alone Together (3:00)
5. You Fascinate Me So (4:10)
6. Hopeless (4:26)
7. Sconsolato (3:46)
8. My Ship (3:49)
9. Just Give Me Time (2:35)
10. I Get Along Without You Very Well (4:42)

Added: June 29th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 884
Language: english

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