Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

David Murray: Morning Song [Black Saint, 1984]
No concept here, and not much composition. Just three days in the studio with John Hicks, Reggie Workman, and Ed Blackwell, and not until the 11-minute version of Murray's only ordinary tune does it descend to the high level of convention you'd expect of such personnel. Murray ranges from terrific to transcendent (on Butch Morris's frenzied "Light Blue Frolic"), and during one passage Hicks turns into Cecil Taylor without surrendering any of his Hicksness. "Jitterbug Waltz" is the closest this comes to carnivalesque, but its driving swing and aural warmth should be all the body language you need. A-