David Murray performing live at Village Vanguard in New York in 1986 with David Murray (tenor sax), Ed Blackwell (drums), John Hicks (piano), and Fred Hopkins (bass).
David Murray was born February 19, 1955 in Oakland, California. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp and gradually evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model, choosing instead to incorporate elements of mainstream players Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Paul Gonsalves into his mature style. Despite this, he recorded a tribute to Coltrane, Octet Plays Trane, in 1999. His 1996 tribute to the Grateful Dead, Dark Star, was also critically well received.
As a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett Murray had the opportunity to recorded or performed with musicians such as Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Olu Dara, Tani Tabbal, Butch Morris, Donal Fox, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Ed Blackwell, Johnny Dyani, and Steve McCall. David Murray's use of the circular breathing technique has enabled him to play astonishingly long phrases.
He is currently living in Sines, Portugal, and participates yearly in its FMM Music festival.