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Murray, Sunny / Bob Dickey / Robert Andreano: Homework (NoBusiness)

Returning home to Philadelphia in 1994 for some "Homework" with Bob Dickie on bass and Robert Andreano on guitar, recording at Robert Andreano's studio, legendary free jazz drummer Sunny Murray leads this trio through six collective improvisations, from Hendrix meets Ayler fury to introspective and hypnotic passage, a much needed reissue of a superb and previously obscure album.

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Includes a 12-page booklet of text, liner notes, images and photos. Photographs of Sunny and Robert taken 11th June, 1994 at St. Stephen's Curch 19 S. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Label: NoBusiness
Catalog ID: NBCD 116
Squidco Product Code: 27799

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Poland
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at 816 South St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 30th, 1994, by Thomas V. Hartmann . Originally released on vinyl LP in 1997 on the New Zealand label Super Secret Sound as catalog code 3SLP010 in a limited numbered edition of 22 copies.


Sunny Murray-drums

Bob Dickie-bass, bass clarinet

Robert Andreano-guitar, bass

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Artist Biographies:

"James Marcellus Arthur "Sunny" Murray (born September 21, 1936 in Idabel, Oklahoma) is one of the pioneers of the free jazz style of drumming.

Murray spent his youth in Philadelphia before moving to New York City where he began playing with Cecil Taylor: "We played for about a year, just practicing, studying - we went to workshops with Varèse, did a lot of creative things, just experimenting, without a job" He was featured on the influential 1962 concerts in Denmark released as Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come.

Murray was among the first to forgo the drummer's traditional role as timekeeper in favor of purely textural playing. "Murray's aim was to free the soloist completely from the restrictions of time, and to do this he set up a continual hailstorm of percussion ... continuous ringing stickwork on the edge of the cymbals, an irregular staccato barrage on the snare, spasmodic bass drum punctuation and constant, but not metronomic, use of the sock-cymbal"

After his period with Taylor's group, Murray's influence continued as a core part of Albert Ayler's trio who recorded Spiritual Unity: "Sunny Murray and Albert Ayler did not merely break through bar lines, they abolished them altogether."

He later recorded under his own name for ESP-Disk and then when he moved to Europe for BYG Actuel."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Homework 18:56

2. Swell 9:11

3. Good Things 11:16

4. Why You Need A Lawyer When Your Pants On Fire 18:54

5. Memorial Day 7:02

6. In 1:35
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"One of the most revered drummers of the progressive or free jazz movement of the late 1960's to the present, Sunny Murray came of age in Philadelphia before moving to New York City as a young man. There he cemented his name is jazz history by playing in two of the most groundbreaking ensembles of the era, the early to mid 60's bands of Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler. Murray freed the drummer from the time keeping role, and allowed the bands he led or collaborated with to be light, nimble and entirely unpredictable. This previously unreleased recording features Murray in the company of Bob Dickie on bass and bass clarinet and Robert Andreano on guitar.

Recorded in Philadelphia in 1994, this album received a very limited release (22 copies!) in 1997 before being remastered in 2019 for this compact disc version. It's unusual and exciting to hear Murray amidst squalls of electric guitar, but that's just what you hear on the sprawling opener "Homework" with the guitarist adding a bit of a Sonny Sharrock vibe to the proceedings, while still providing ample room for the textural improvisation Murray was known for, providing sections of quietly probing improvisation. The music moves organically, ebbing and flowing, picking up steam again as they approach the end of the track with deep rolling drums punctuated by cymbal blasts and taut thick bass framing the pointed guitar playing.

There is a quieter groove established on "Swell," patiently building from a hypnotic Murray motif, spare guitar framing and repetitive bass notes, then developing stylish variations on these themes. "Good Things" has Dickie moving to bass clarinet and the band developing a subtle and low toned performance, gradually picking up speed with gales of clarinet and Murray playing all over his kit in a dervish of sound. It's interesting to follow how they use these bursts of speed and then fall back to more abstract sections, floating around the fulcrum of Andreano's guitar. The wonderfully titled "Why You Need a Lawyer When Your Pants On Fire" is a feature of the drummer, who is truly at the top of his game, balancing rhythms and tempo using accents to develop textures that are just fascinating to hear. Dancing around the entire drum kit and using the cymbals to create a tactile quality that adds essence to the music, at whatever speed he chooses to play. "Memorial Day" has a strong sound with bowed bass joining the guitar and percussion and mining a rich vein of sound, braiding interwoven threads of music, leading to a powerful collective free improvisation with Dickie moving back to plucked bass and getting an elastic sound that binds the group together, before ending the album with the brief coda "In," a short snippet of the band playing slash and burn free jazz at full volume and then leaving with a majestic conclusion which is a fitting end to this very interesting album that is justly getting wider recognition with this release."-Tim Niland, Music and More

Also available on vinyl LP>
Includes a 12-page booklet of text, liner notes, images and photos. Photographs of Sunny and Robert taken 11th June, 1994 at St. Stephen's Curch 19 S. 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Get additional information at Music and More
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Jazz Reissues
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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