Another sad passing, with the news that jazz singer Mark Murphy has died. He was 83.
Hip, a master of vocalese, influenced by the beats and a glorious interpreter of jazz standards, Murphy grew up in Syracuse, NY, and signed to Decca as a young man debuting with 1956’s Meet Mark Murphy.
Later moving on to Capitol and Riverside he picked up a strong European and British following in the latter part of his career and was a big influence on leading British singers, particularly Ian Shaw who paid tribute to him on Twitter earlier today: “Mark Murphy, the greatest jazz singer, my biggest influence and a dear, funny, unique and fearless friend, has died. His mischief I will miss.”
Murphy lived in London for a while and also during his time in Europe collaborated with the Clarke-Boland Big Band eventually returning to America in the early-70s. Signing to Muse new work saw him pay tribute to Jack Kerouac and Nat King Cole.
One late gem was a vinyl EP London label Gearbox released two years ago which was a tribute to Shirley Horn that included a fine version of ‘But Beautiful.’ RIP