Sunny Murray

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

James Marcellus Arthur Murray, 21 September 1937, Idabel, Oklahoma, USA. Murray is probably the most influential and certainly the most controversial drummer to emerge from the 60s new wave. He began to teach himself drums at the age of nine, subsequently flirting briefly with trumpet and trombone. In 1956 he moved to New York and worked with figures as diverse as Henry ‘Red’ Allen, Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith, Jackie McLean, Rocky Boyd, Ted Curson and Cecil Taylor. In 1963 he went with Taylor and Jimmy Lyons to Europe, where he joined Albert Ayler in the legendary trio that produced Ghosts and Spiritual Unity. He played on several more Ayler albums, including New York Eye And Ear Control, Bells and Spirits Rejoice, while Ayler guested on Murray’s debut, Sunny’s Time Now. He lived in France from 1968-71, then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where he worked with an equally influential drummer from the hard bop era, Philly Joe...

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