United States of America
90 views this week
Sunny Murray

Sunny Murray

American drummer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American drummer
Countries United States of America
Occupations Jazz musician
Gender male
Birth September 21, 1936
Sunny Murray
The details

James Marcellus Arthur "Sunny" Murray (born September 21, 1936 in Idabel, Oklahoma) is one of the pioneers of the free jazz style of drumming.


Murray spent his youth in Philadelphia before moving to New York City where he began playing with Cecil Taylor: "We played for about a year, just practicing, studying — we went to workshops with Varèse, did a lot of creative things, just experimenting, without a job" He was featured on the influential 1962 concerts in Denmark released as Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come.

Murray was among the first to forgo the drummer's traditional role as timekeeper in favor of purely textural playing. "Murray's aim was to free the soloist completely from the restrictions of time, and to do this he set up a continual hailstorm of percussion ... continuous ringing stickwork on the edge of the cymbals, an irregular staccato barrage on the snare, spasmodic bass drum punctuation and constant, but not metronomic, use of the sock-cymbal"

After his period with Taylor's group, Murray's influence continued as a core part of Albert Ayler's trio who recorded Spiritual Unity: "Sunny Murray and Albert Ayler did not merely break through bar lines, they abolished them altogether."

He later recorded under his own name for ESP-Disk and then when he moved to Europe for BYG Actuel.


As leader

  • 1965: Sunny's Time Now
  • 1966: Sunny Murray (ESP Disk)
  • 1968: Big Chief (EMI/Pathé)
  • 1969: Homage to Africa (BYG Actuel)
  • 1969: Sunshine (BYG Actuel)
  • 1969: An Even Break (Never Give a Sucker) (BYG Actuel)
  • 1978: Charred Earth (Kharma)
  • 1979: Live at Moers-Festival (Moers)
  • 1979: Aigu-Grave (Marge) with Bobby Few, Alan Silva, Richard Raux, Pablo Sauvage
  • 1980: Apple Cores (Philly Jazz)
  • 1987: Indelicacy (West Wind)
  • 1996: 13 Steps on Glass (Enja)

As sideman

with Cecil Taylor

  • Cecil Taylor Jazz Unit, The Early Unit 1962 (Ingo)
  • Live at The Cafe Montmartre (Debut)
  • Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come (1962)
  • It Is in the Brewing Luminous (1980)

with Albert Ayler

  • Holy Ghost (Revenant)
  • Ghosts (Debut, 1965)
  • Spirits (Debut, 1966)
  • Swing Low Sweet Spiritual (Osmosis, 1965, [1971]) also released as Goin' Home (Black Lion) with bonus tracks
  • Prophecy (ESP Disk)
  • Spiritual Unity (ESP Disk)
  • New York Eye and Ear Control (ESP Disk)
  • Albert Ayler (Philology 88)
  • Bells (ESP Disk)
  • Spirits Rejoice (ESP Disk)

with Gil Evans

  • Into the Hot (Impulse!)

with Jimmy Lyons

  • Jump Up/What To Do About (Hathut)

with David Eyges

  • Crossroads (Music Unlimited)

with Billy Bang

  • Outline No. 12 (Celluloid)

with Khan Jamal

  • Infinity (Jam'Brio)
  • Change of the Century Orchestra (JAS)
  • Speak Easy (Gazell)

with Alexander von Schlippenbach

  • Smoke (FMP)

with Cheikh Tidiane Fall and Malachi Favors

  • African Magic (Circle)

with Burton Greene and Alan Silva

  • Firmanence (Fore)

with David Murray

  • A Sanctuary Within (Black Saint)

with Dave Burrell

  • High (Douglas)
  • Echo (BYG Actuel)

with Aki Takase

  • Clapping Music (Enja)

with The Reform Art Unit

  • Subway Performances (Granit)

with Charles Gayle and William Parker

  • Kingdom Come (KFW)

with Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers

  • Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers/Sonny Murray Quartet-1968(JCD)
  • with Archie Shepp
  • Live at the Pan-African Festival (BYG Actuel)
  • Yasmina, a Black Woman (BYG Actuel)
  • Black Gipsy (America)
  • Pitchin Can (America)
  • Bill Dixon 7-tette/Archie Shepp and the New York Contemporary 5 (Savoy)

with Gunter Hampel

  • Gunter Hampel and His Galaxie Dream Band Journey to the Song Within (Birth)

with Sabir Mateen

  • We Are Not at the Opera (Eremite)

with Christian Brazier

  • Peregrinations (Bleu Regard)

with Walter Malli

  • Geh' langsam durch die alten Gass'n (PAO)

with Kenny Millions

  • Loved by Millions (Leo)
  • Mayhem in Our Streets (Waterland)
  • No Money No Honey (Hum Ha)

with Clifford Thornton

  • Ketchaoua (BYG Actuel)

with Arthur Doyle

  • Dawn of a New Vibration (Fractual)
  • Live at Glenn Miller Café (Ayler)

with Francois Tusques

  • Intercommunal Music (Shandar)

with Assif Tsahar and Peter Kowald

  • MA Live at Fundacio Juan Miro (Hopscotch)

with The Contemporary Jazz Quartet

  • The Contemporary Jazz Quartet Featuring Sunny Murray Action (Debut)

with Telectu

  • Quartetos (Clean Feed)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comments so far.
Sunny Murray is in following lists
View all
arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube stumbleupon comments comments pandora gplay iheart tunein pandora gplay iheart tunein itunes