A fantastic set from vocalist Mark
Murphy – easily one of his greatest albums ever! The session was recorded for the MPS label in Germany during the late 60s – at a time when Murphy was recording some excellent work overseas – and the album features backings by a small combo peeled off of the legendary Clark-Boland Big Band, who were also working for MPS at the time! Murphy's vocals get some tremendous backing on the set from a combo that includes Jimmy Deuchar on trumpet, Sahib Shihab on baritone and flute, Derek Humble on alto, and Ronnie Scott on tenor – and the grooves are a mix of modal numbers and straight jazz tunes – almost always dancing together in a lovely way that unlocks a side of Murphy's talents that hadn't been recorded this way before. And in fact, the album's gone onto have a huge influence on the current sound of club jazz – and is a key inspiration for the work of Nicola Conte, Koop, Five Corners Quintet, and others! The vocals are perfect, too – with nary a hint of overindulgence, and always a sweet measured groove that works perfectly with the material – and titles include "My Ship", "I Don't Want Nothin", "Hopeless", "Sconsolato", "Why & How", and "Just Give Me Time".
(Vintage Japanese pressing. Vinyl has some surface marks, but should play decently enough overall.)