Mark Murphy's 80th at Ronnie's
Ahead of Mark Murphy's 80th birthday gigs at Ronnie Scott's (Monday 30 January – Tuesday 31 January 2012, reservations 020 7439 0747) we publish below a comparative review of a Murphy London appearance three decades ago.
Brian Dee, Len Skeat, Alan Ganley and Johnny McLevey did a marvellous job firstly by providing that alert and swinging backing that Murphy demands and also by producing a string of solos that at no time allowed the tension to flag. Whether Murphy was singing against or with the full group, duetting with McLevey or Dee and on occasion just with Len Skeat's bass, or even singing competely alone, he demonstrated that he is the complete artist.
Everything Murphy does is right. His vibrato is perfectly adjusted to suit the line - instrumentalists please copy). His tone and range are immense and his feeling for the lyrics is as great as one could wish. Numbers from Miles, Duke, Basie, LHR and others (including a fine tribute to Harold Arlen) were all given sympathetic treatment.
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