Album Remarks & Appraisals:
A prodigious talent whose keyboard pyrotechnics have ignited the bandstands of such shamanistic figures as Rashied Ali and Tisziji Muņoz, veteran pianist-composer Greg Murphy has been a firebrand on the scene since moving to New York in 1987. On his fourth outing as a leader, the Chicago native showcases a myriad of musical expressions besides the heightened, McCoy-inspired approach that has been his calling card for decades. With a core group consisting of fiery trumpeter Josh Evans, Dee Dee Bridgewater bassist Eric Wheeler and sensational young drummer Kush Abadey -- augmented on different tracks by stellar improvisers Jay Rodriguez on soprano sax, Eric Wyatt and Scott Robert Avidon on tenor saxes, Corey Wilcox on trombone, Raphael Cruz on percussion and Malou Beauvoir on vocals -- Murphy explores some appealing pop material on his "A Reason to Smile" and a cover of Seals & Crofts' '70s hit "Summer Breeze" while also digging into Afro-Cuban grooves ("Suspended Time"), burning hard bop ("Cedar Salad"), free jazz ("Tsk") and a swinging blues (Sonny Rollins' "Solid") on his Whaling City Sound debut.
Personnel: Eric Wheeler (acoustic bass, electric bass); Greg Murphy (piano, keyboards); Malou Beauvoir (vocals); Jay Rodriguez (soprano saxophone); Eric Wyatt, Scott Robert Avidon (tenor saxophone); Josh Evans (trumpet); Corey Wilcox (trombone); Kush Abadey (drums); Raphael Cruz (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Bill Milkowski.
Recording information: The Samurai Hotel, Astoria, NY (07/01/2016).