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Saxophonist David Murray is a musical omnivore, and a particularly ravenous one: He can improvise his way through any conceivable setting, often with a full-bodied, ursine strength. Lately, he's directed his energies toward Nat King Cole's Spanish-language albums, as collected on the recent album David Murray Cuban Ensemble Plays Nat King Cole En Español. It's a way of investigating his and his wife's cultural histories — Afro-American and Spanish-Cuban, respectively — but it's also a communion with like-minded Cuban musicians.
At the 2012 NYC Winter Jazzfest, Murray called together nine New York-based players, some of Cuban descent, to perform this repertoire at Le Poisson Rouge. All are crack soloists or rhythmatists, though none more so than their leader, who does his best to embody Cole's voice with all due regal authority.
Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Patrick Jarenwattananon; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins. Recorded Jan. 7, 2012 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, N.Y.