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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

DAVID MURRAY LATIN BIG BAND

By TOM ORR
Published April 19, 2006

Now Is Another Time
Justin Time

Latin big bands are not often headed by guys with names like David Murray. So consider that this David Murray is an adventurous tenor saxophonist with a knack for not repeating himself, or that the Justin Time label consistently releases noteworthy jazz-based music. The sizable assemblage of Cuban and American musicians on Now Is Another Time wield the expertise to make these seven lengthy tracks a sly mixture of structured arrangements and play-it-the-way-you-feel-it looseness. Horn solos are abundant and varied, setting the mood and putting spark to flame over loosely reined tumbles of percussion, piano and bass. Finer points include the graceful swing of the opening “Crystal,” Murray’s colorful bass clarinet on “Blue Muse” (typifying the quality horn work throughout), and “Sad Kind Of Love,” a 20-minute odyssey that puts the talents of the ensemble—as well as the free spirit at the helm of it—on ample display.