On a crisp fall evening this month, I decided to attend a concert featuring a legendary jazz vocalist. The vocalist: Mark Murphy.
As a kickoff to the long running Sound of Jazz Concert Series put on by JAZZ FM, they went with a bang by bringing in one of the great practitioners of jazz singing in Mark Murphy. Not only that, it is a concert celebrating his 80th birthday, showing that at 80 he is still going strong and there is no signs of stopping at his musical development and showmanship in jazz.
It was a program of well executed standards ranging from Cole Porter’s “What is This Thing Called Love”, to original lyrical takes on classics such as Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” complete with lyrics of his own.
Mark Murphy represents a singer who does more than just sing the lyric straight no chaser. He takes risks, turns and twists that leave the audience spellbound and aching for more. No wonder I told him during intermission that he is one of my favourite vocalists, with a style and pizzazz that is uniquely his own.
To close this brief review, I decided to include a video showing of Mark and his quartet perform the classic Betty Comden/Adolph Greene/Jule Styne standard hit “Just in Time”, exemplifying his mastery of jazz vocal singing at its best.
All in all, a great night from a great singer, and kudos to JAZZ FM 91.1 for bringing a world-class artist to kick off an amazing concert season.
JAZZ FM 91.1. Web Site