David Murray likes to toy with combinations. On his most recent release, “Gwotet,” he implausibly mixes a punchy Latin horn section, rollicking Afro-beat guitar and three or four distinct drumming traditions. Then he lathers it all in unrestrained free jazz blowing. Though not all Murray’s many grand experiments have worked, this one does, and magnificently. “Gwotet” charges forward in a fierce conversation of musical dialects. Like a pidgin or Creole language, the 14 musicians he assembled in Paris all communicate with inventive, earthy directness.
In addition to the Guadaloupean drummer Klod Kiavue, who has worked with Murray in the past, the standouts of the group are the two guitarists, Christian Laviso and Herve Sambe. Their nimble, flowing, African-style guitars entwine the horns and drums with a dense, dancing unity. And then there’s Pharaoh Sanders, the stalwart of ’60s free-jazz expression, who lays down wild honking solos that sound fresh in this exotic setting. Murray matches him with far-ranging squawks tempered only by a six-piece horn section. This blend of African, Caribbean and jazz might just be the start of a new musical language.
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