martes, 9 de agosto de 2011

Mark Murphy


Mark Murphy (born March 14, 1932) is an American jazz singer based in New York. He is most noted for his definitive and unique vocalese and vocal improvisations with both melody and lyrics. He is the recipient of the 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001 Down Beat magazine readers jazz poll for Best Male Vocalist of the Year and is also the recipient of six Grammy award nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Performance. He is also famous for his original lyrics to the jazz classics Stolen Moments and Red Clay. From his Meet Mark Murphy (1956), to the current, Love Is What Stays (2007) Murphy continues attracting audiences and admirers up to the present day.
Born in Syracuse, New York in 1932, Murphy was raised in a musical family, his parents having met as members of the local Methodist Church choir. He grew up in the nearby small town of Fulton, New York where his grandmother and then his aunt were the church organists. Opera was also popular in the Murphy home. He started piano lessons at the age of seven.
Murphy joined his brother's jazz dance band as the singer when a teenager, citing influences from Nat "King" Cole, June Christy, Anita O'Day, and Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz piano legend Art Tatum was also an influence.
Murphy graduated from Syracuse University in 1953, majoring in Music and Drama. University life included performing on campus and also in a club – piano and singing.
In 1954, Murphy moved to New York City, working part-time as an actor and singer. He appeared in productions for the Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company and a musical version for TV of Casey at the Bat. Also, he twice took second place at the Apollo Theatre amateur contests.
Murphy was eventually introduced to record producer Milt Gabler, who was an artist and repertoire director (A & R) for Decca. Gabler’s reputation was extensive, having previously recorded Jack Teagarden, Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Edmond Hall, Hot Lips Page, and Billie Holiday. He was also working with Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Haley & His Comets.

Gabler compared Murphy to Mel Tormé and predicated that his impact would “scare Frank Sinatra”.
His resulting debut recording was Meet Mark Murphy (1956), followed closely by Let Yourself Go (1957). These are both now reissued on one CD entitled Crazy Rhythm: His Debut Recordings (Decca GRD-670).
In 1958 Murphy moved to Los Angeles and recorded for Capitol, but returned to New York in the early '60s and recorded the now classic jazz album Rah (1961) on Riverside Records, performing Angel Eyes, a famous version of Horace Silver's "Doodlin',and Green Dolphin Street, featuring legendary jazz players Bill Evans, Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Blue Mitchell, and Wynton Kelly. This album has been recently reissued [1993] by Fantasy Records. His favorite recording to date, That's How I Love the Blues soon followed. In 1963, Murphy hit the charts across the country with his single of Fly Me To the Moon and was voted "New Star of the Year" in Down Beat Magazine's Reader's Poll.
Murphy moved to London, England in the late 1960s where he worked primarily as an actor. He continued however, to cultivate his jazz audiences in Europe. He returned to the States in 1972 and began recording an average of an album a year for over fourteen years on the Muse label. These projects - including the highly acclaimed Nat King Cole Songbook Vol. I and II, Bop for Kerouac I and II, Living Room, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Beauty And the Beast and his classic, Stolen Moments - garnered widespread critical acclaim and numerous Grammy nominations. This last album contains Oliver Nelson's instrumental standard "Stolen Moments" with lyrics by Murphy.
In 1984 together with Viva Brasil he recorded the album Brazil Song (Cancões do Brasil) which featured original material written by the cream of Brazilian songwriting including work by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Milton Nascimento.

In 1987, He recorded Night Mood, an album of songs by Brazilian composer Ivan Lins, followed by the Grammy-nominated September Ballads on Milestone Records. Murphy has also appeared on U.F.O.'s last two releases (for Polydor Records), in which he has written and rapped lyrics on songs composed with the group. This collaboration opened up further new audiences in the acid-jazz and hip-hop genres, demonstrating jazz's timelessness while transcending generations and styles.
In August 1997, BMG/RCA Victor released Song For The Geese, for which he has received his sixth Grammy nomination, an evocative, ethereal foray into the world of vocalese and arguably his most stunning work yet. Also in August 1997, the 32 Records label Joel Dorn and Michael Bourne released a double CD retrospective Stolen and Other Moments which features some of his best recordings for the Muse label (now defunct). The CD features material from the two "Kerouac" albums and a tasteful selection of "the best of Mark Murphy".
Murphy’s latest but one release Once to Every Heart (2005) on the Verve Records label, features sensuous ballads, where the listener can capture him singing in top form, with superb musicians and sounding better than ever.
Mark Murphy has also collaborated with Five Corners Quintet, a modern Finnish jazz band. He appears on their albums "Chasin' the Jazz Gone By" (2005) and "Hot Corner" (2008).
Mark Murphy continues to tour internationally year round, appearing at festivals, concerts, in the best jazz clubs and on television programs throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan. He is one of the most important jazz vocalists of our time.



Mark Murphy es un cantante estadounidense de jazz.
Nacido en una familia de tradición musical (sus dos padres cantaban), la infancia de Murphy transcurrió en Syracuse, Nueva York, donde aprendió desde muy joven a tocar el piano y donde comenzó sus estudios de canto y teatro. Antes de dirigirse a la ciudad de Nueva York, en 1954, ya había efectuado una gira por Canadá con un trío de jazz, y tras algunas apariciones en televisión consigue un contrato con Decca Records, sello que edita su álbum debut en 1956, con el título Meet Mark Murphy. En 1959 se pasa a Capitol, un sello cuyos ejecutivos solían presionar a sus artistas en una dirección determinada, pero a pesar de ello Murphy consigue establecerse con sello propio en el panorama de vocalistas gracias a un estilo distintivo en el que la técnica de scat jugaba un papel fundamental. A pesar de ello Murphy no consigue el éxito que los responsables del sello esperaban, y en 1961 acaba firmando con Riverside, sello bajo el que aparece su álbum Rah! (1961) y su That's How I Love the Blues, un álbum en el que figuraban grandes estrellas como Clark Terry, Snooky Young, Al Cohn, Bill Evans, o Blue Mitchell.
A mediados de la década de 1960 Murphy comienza a viajar a Europa, donde su música parace tener mejor aceptación. Allí efectúa diversas grabaciones en sellos británicos como Fontana Records o Immediate Records, además de colaborar con la Clarke-Boland Big Band en su Midnight Mood (1967) y efectuar numerosas apariciones en diversas salas de conciertos, lo que le permiten establecerse entre los mayores nombres del viejo continente. Cuando regresa a Estados Unidos a principios de la década de 1970 lo hace ya convertido en una de las figuras más importantes del jazz vocal de su época.
Con una serie de colaboraciones y álbumes con Muse Records en la década de 1970, Murphy se sitúa a mediados de la década como uno de los pocos cantantes masculinos de jazz de cierta importancia, capaces de hacer sombra a viejas glorias como Frank Sinatra o Mel Tormé. Desde entonces, Murphy continúa sin interrupciones dignas de mención una carrera discográfica que le lleva a editar en 2007 Love Is What Stays, su último trabajo hasta la fecha.

Habiendo consagrado la práctica totalidad de su carrera a la interpretación de standards, un área en el que ha sobresalido por su reinterpretación radical de tamas famosos, Mark Murphy parecía el único cantante de jazz masculino de interés durante las décadas de 1970 y 1980, una época marcada por la crisis de la corriente mainstream. A pesar de las presiones de los productores, Murphy supo distanciarse de la música comercial para centrar su obra en la profundización de los elementos que desde siempre habían atraído su interés: la obra de Jack Kerouac, la música de Brasil, la interpretación de standards, la técnica vocalese o el hard bop.  Su voz, de orientación cool, presenta similitudes con la de Mel Tormé, si bien Murphy siempre ha citado entre sus cantantes favoritos a cantantes blancas como Lee Wiley o Peggy Lee. Dotado de un amplio registro, Murphy es capaz de ir desde notas en falsetto que lo acercan a los registros tímbricos de una trompeta, hasta bajar a las notas graves de un saxofón barítono.  En el plano artístico, Murphy ha pasado a la historia del jazz por su deconstrucciones vocales de standards que han sido comparados a las pinturas del expresionismo abstracto. . Sus cualidades técnicas y artísticas hacen de él uno de los vocalistas más importantes de la historia del jazz.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario