James’ Brand New Blog

On the turnturnturntable*: David Murphy/Hong Kong

- June 7th, 2012

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The cover/jacket for David Murphy’s Hong Kong via trusty BlackBerry

There probably isn’t another recording in the JBNBlog collection like this one (entirely due to me) . . .  40 years ago, you could have heard David “Dave” Murphy at the Brass Rail & elsewhere as the guitarist with the Pacific Showband aka the Dublin Corporation. The request for fan material, memorabilia etc. is from a Free Press story I wrote about him, looking back to that era.

These days, Murphy is making his own jazz-pop-hybrid-instrumental-cool sounds at home in his native Ireland. He sent over Hong Kong months ago. He’s the auteur, directing a crack team of Irish stars who have played with Van Morrison, Sting, Kenny Wheeler etc. (a really impressive list) through an album of his own compositions & arrangements.

Murphy’s keyboard textures & touches back up the solos from sax player Richie Buckley, who has a booting R&B sound to go with some hard bop (a related genre, of course), & guitarist Mike Nielsen . . . he seems to be more of a Pat Metheny player.

Murphy plays some guitar on the recording with some classical (ie. six-string acoustic?) work on the serene last track The Room Song – like a number of other tracks, it makes its points gently without ever edging off into blandland . . .  Murphy is also building some guitars just now. It would be fun to hear more six-string thrills from him. He was a star on the Ontario club circuit back in the day.

As for Hong Kong, is this what Spyro Gyra (a group resisted by JBNBlog) was supposed to sound like . . . or maybe Moondance if Van had the night off & the keyboard player could come up with lovely melodies (title track especially) & the boppish turns on Under the Bar.

These comparisons may not be particularly helpful or accurate — the electro-jazz-pop thing is outside JBNBlog’s basement record collection range . . . but Hong Kong is really good. It ebbs. It flows. It swings . . . &, yes, it lilts. Lovely & thoughtful. Thanks for sending it all the way to #ldnont, David.

Bit of background: Recorded in Dublin at Magpie Recording Studio. Forty minutes, 49 seconds over nine tracks.

Contact: Former Dublin Corporation guitarist Dave Murphy has a message for fans: “If you have any photos, posters, advertisements of the band or know anyone who might have, please let me know. I would love to have them, as I kept very little when I actually played in the band.”

E-mail: davem7b5@gmail.com

*An occasional series devoted to random reports on good music which has come JBNBlog’s way.  A couple of notes: plenty of ace sounds will go uncelebrated here, but may find another home on lfpress.com or in The Free Press &,  as you might expect, On the turnturnturntable loves vinyl & the 1965 Byrds, but 45 rpm masterpieces are experiencing a bumpy ride on the new $33.01 Fisher-Price player (the penny is to weigh down the arm). So.  Let it rawk, CD, album, LP, EP or (here’s hoping) 45 . . . whenever the mood strikes & space allows.

Categories: Entertainment

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