- Released: March 1, 2000
- Label: Highnote
Down Beat - 12/00, p.864.5 stars out of 5
- "...He breathes, nay seethes, scat improv, yet imparts unjaded energy and worldly wisdom to every lyric....his heroic derring-do illuminates bop beauties..."
JazzTimes - 10/00, pp.88-9
"...One of his finest efforts. He's in excellent voice and accompanied by a quintet of first-rate musicians....[He] achieves an expressive breakthrough..."
- 1.You're My Alter Ego
- 3.There's No More Blue Time
- 4.That Old Black Magic
- 5.Bohemia After Dark
- 6.With Every Breath I Take - (from "City Of Angels")
- 7.Life's Mosaic
- 8.Some Time Ago
- 9.Why Was I Born / I'm A Fool To Want You
Personnel: Mark Murphy (vocals); Allan Mezquida (alto saxophone); Dave Ballou (trumpet); Lee Musiker (piano); Steve LaSpina, Sean Smith (bass); Winard Harper (drums).
Recorded at M&I Recording Studios, New York, New York on December 27 & 28, 1999. Includes liner notes by James Gavin.
Personnel: Mark Murphy (vocals); Dave Ballou (trumpet); Lee Musiker (piano); Winard Harper (drums).
Liner Note Author: James Gavin.
Recording information: M & I Recording Studios, New York, NY (12/27/1999-12/28/1999).
Photographer: Bill Claxton.
Arranger: Lee Musiker.
One either loves Mark Murphy's style or one does not. The veteran vocalist is at his best when scatting, Jon Hendricks-like, on flat-out bebop numbers such as Tadd Dameron's "There's No More Blue Time" and Oscar Pettiford's "Bohemia After Dark." On the other hand, he seems a little rough-edged and indelicate on ballads such as Jimmy Rowles's "Peacocks" and Cy Coleman's "With Every Breath I Take." Murphy is a highly musical, expressive singer, but his voice just isn't that pretty. The ballads accentuate that fact. Tearing it up on a breakneck version of "That Old Black Magic," however, Murphy leaves other singers in the dust. He's ambitious enough to tackle tunes by two heady hard bop pianists, James Williams and Cedar Walton: "You're My Alter Ego" and "Life's Mosaic," respectively. Murphy is also moving on an achingly slow version of Sergio Mihanovich's gem of a waltz, "Some Time Ago," as well as the closing medley, "Why Was I Born/I'm a Fool to Want You." Murphy's band is simply killing. Pianist Lee Musiker handles arranging duties and solos deftly throughout. Trumpeter Dave Ballou and altoist Allan Mezquida play superbly, as do drummer Winard Harper and alternating bassists Sean Smith and Steve LaSpina. Hip and adventurous, yet always tasteful, the band makes these tunes come alive as much as Murphy does. ~ David R. Adler