Here’s a nice new release from Canada’s Cornerstone Records. The label is owned by musicians and has issued a wealth of good music since its 1993 inception. In the past year or so, we have had the opportunity to hear offerings by Mark Eisenman, Pat Collins, Al Henderson and Mike Murley.
Murley returns with a quartet jointly led with pianist David Braid. Drummer Ian Froman and the popular bassist Jim Vivian complete the group.
In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne is the daughter of Uranus and Gaia and was known for her wondrous hair and splendid headdress. She slept with the god Zeus for nine nights and gave birth to nine daughters: the Muses. It’s a cool story and I have no idea why the mythical lady became the subject of one of David Braid’s compositions. You’ll have to approach him for details.
Recorded live at the famed Montreal Bistro
in Toronto, the album pairs Murley and Braid for the first time on CD. Each of the co-leaders presents three compositions and the seventh is by Harry Warren. "I Wish I Knew" was penned by Warren for the 1945 film "Diamond Horseshoe" and Mike Murley’s opening passage is nostalgic and mellow.
In fact, the entire album is rather mellow and easy to enjoy. It’s been my first opportunity to hear more than a smattering of David Braid’s piano and it’s impressive. His "Say A Little Prayer" is a pretty, moderate tempo piece that seems to stem from roots in the blues. The title tune "Mnemosyne’s March" begins with Jim Vivian’s Arco bass and features the bassist’s prowess throughout. Drummer, Ian Froman, gets a chance to shine on Mike Murley’s "Sheep Walking," a peppy little melody that features the writer on tenor.
Folks who like straight-ahead, no nonsense jazz will love this album.