Correspondence: About Mark Murphy


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Mark Murphy may have had his problems the past few years, but rumors that he is not singing well appear to be unfounded. Rifftides reader and occasional correspondent Jim Brown sent a report with evidence.
A year or two ago, there were suggestions that Mark was in bad health, perhaps had dementia, and that he might not be performing again. Here's a performance from last summer that will blow you away. Whatever his health problems might have been, it seems clear that he's still hanging in. There are several other pieces of video from the same set that are worth watching, but this one is the masterpiece. Pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Willard Dyson are the accompanists in this medley from the Kitano in New York.

Mark is now living in Englewood, NJ, near drummer Billy Hart. I had asked Billy if he could find out how Mark was doing. A few months ago, he called to tell me that Mark had dropped in to Trumpets, a club almost around the corner from Billy's house, and that he seemed in good shape and “it was like the Mark Murphy show" for a while.

Thanks to Mr. Brown for the Murphy alert. Additional videos from the Kitano gig show up at the bottom of the embedded screen. If you're interested in more Murphy, among his many albums this one for the Riverside label in 1961 is still one of the best.

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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