Bright Idea Greg Murphy Trio

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  • 1Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise07:24
  • 2Happy (From "Despicable Me 2")03:49
  • 3Bright Idea07:21
  • 4Earthlings06:29
  • 524K Magic02:45
  • 6Street Cats04:59
  • 7Finer Things05:11
  • 8For My Mom07:10
  • 9Straight No Blues04:43
  • 10Moving Violation08:39
  • 11Well, of All Things06:11
  • 12Untitled Original 1138306:38
  • 13Juneteenth Notes04:13
  • Total Runtime01:15:32

Info zu Bright Idea

The world of jazz, despite legends of gloried lore, is fraught with contradictions, dichotomies and some of the most unlikely stories that boggle the imagination--untold tales lying just beneath the maelstrom of mainstream media, tucked away as a sanguine keepsake measured only in the hearts and minds of those involved. Stories of heartbreak. Stories of triumph.

Pianist Greg Murphy’s story, his all-too-human story, is made of that same kind of tangible heroic fabric--from wandering in the valley low only to gain a celebratory emergence--a joyful spiritual attainment over and above a craggy, pit-laden adversity.

I met an enthusiastic Murphy in the summer of 1980 one afternoon at my downtown Chicago loft venue for jazz, Aziza Artist Space. The set that day was led by the late saxophonist, Fred Anderson. Recommended by his friend and bassist Tyler Mitchell, Murphy was on the gig. Showing a promise that would only be realized years down the road, Murphy exhibited an indelible pianistic presence. His bluesy orchestral swing-filled stylistic technique crackled with an exuberant intensity far beyond his youthful age.

Upon a chance encounter with Marsalis patriarch Ellis Marsalis in Chicago, as fate would have it, soon Murphy was headed for New Orleans. Duly noticing the young pianist’s potential, Murphy was Crescent City bound--this at the height of the Young Lions movement of the early 80s. Recalling their initial meeting, “Ellis Marsalis came to my house, gave me a free piano lesson and subsequently suggested that I apply for a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Grant.” ...

"Bright Idea, Greg Murphy's second Whaling City Sound project and fifth overall, is pure and beautiful, his strongest statement as a leader and his most beautifully played collection of stories. Fully back and in complete command, Murphy can now swing with the best. He has come out from the dark side and into the light, now destined, even determined, to find his proper place in the pantheon of jazz piano." (Jazz News)

Greg Murphy, piano
Eric Wheeler, double bass
Jeff "Tain" Watts, drums

The Greg Murphy Trio
pays respect to the jazz tradition while consistently developing and expressing it's own identity.

Chicago native Greg Murphy has been a major contributor to the New York City jazz scene since the 1980s and he’s probably best known for his twenty-two year association with John Coltrane’s multidirectional drummer, Rashied Ali.

Greg began his musical adventures in 1971 when he joined the Ray-Fisk Grammar School Band in Chicago. His classical studies began later that year with Lucia Santini at Roosevelt University. Between 1980 and 1984, he played with the jazz/funk band Lightning Flash Thunder Roar, The University of Illinois at Chicago Big Band, The Northern Illinois University Big Band, and other local Chicago bands.

A jazz study grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984 gave Greg the opportunity to go to New Orleans and study with the eminent pianist and jazz educator, Ellis Marsalis. He remained there and began recording and performing with The New Orleans Jazz Couriers, Percussion Incorporated, and his own group, The Fusicians. The Percussion Incorporated album, Drum Talk, (Greg’s first recording) was recorded and released in 1987. While living in the crescent city, Greg performed with Donald Harrison, Wynton Marsalis, and countless other great musicians.

Greg moved to New York in 1987 and began what had become a long association with multi-directional drummer, Rashied Ali. Greg performed and recorded with Ali and his various groups throughout Europe, Canada, the United States and beyond, from 1987 until Rashied passed away in 2009.

Throughout his career, Greg has performed in Japan, China and The Philippines with his own trio and other groups. He’s also worked in New York with Ornette Coleman and in France with Carlos Santana and Archie Shepp. In 2012, Greg recorded the theme song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” for the HBO documentary Redemption, which was produced and directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill. Redemption received a 2013 Academy Award nomination for best documentary short.

Greg also performed with Jeff “Tain” Watts, Billy Hart, Arthur Taylor, Joe Lovano, Grachan Moncur, III, Christian McBride, Cindy Blackman, Flava Flav, Charles McPherson, Larry Ridley, William Parker and Charles Gayle, among many others.

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