A killer collection of work from one of the hippest jazz singers of all time – captured here at a point when he was really opening up into some fresh, unique territory of his own! Mark Murphy first began recording in the mid 50s for Decca, and had a run of other records in the 60s for Capitol, Fontana, and other labels – but by the time he hit Muse Records in the 70s, he was really open to new ideas – and able to do far more than just the simple singing of a tune! Instead, he'd worked his voice into a mode that was more like an instrument overall – able to run free with brilliant solo passages, and inflect the lyrics in ways that even the great singers of years before might never have dreamed of! And at Muse, he got excellent support and instrumental backing – always hip combos, and the freedom to create the sort of special albums that still make his records for the label a real high point in the development of jazz vocals. These are sides that went onto inform generations of singers – from Kurt Elling, to Gregory Porter
, and so many others – and this well-chosen selection of songs is completely sublime. Titles include "On The Red Clay", "Stolen Moments", "Effendi", "Naima", "Maiden Voyage", "Lookin For Another Pure Love", "Waters Of March", "Come & Get Me", "Be-Bop Lives", "Dingwalls", "Cantaloupe Island", "Sly", "Empty Faces", and "Two Kites".