Mike Murley Trio
Looking Back
cover 143

Mike Murley (saxophone)

Reg Schwager (guitar)

Steve Wallace (bass)

Murley, Schwager and Wallace — among Canada’s very best on their respective instruments — answer a calling that’s at least as important, if not more so, as deliberately and nakedly innovating. They invest themselves personally and meaningfully into songs and sentiments that have timeless resonance and obvious beauty — and I’ll gladly listen to that kind of achievement any day.

Peter Hum
Ottawa Citizen
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I first heard Reg Schwager play at a Phil Nimmons Jazz Workshop in Fredericton NB in 1978. Here was a sixteen year old prodigy subbing for the great Ed Bickert as faculty guitarist! Reg and I are about the same age so it was pretty incredible to hear someone of my generation playing at such a high level. Ironically he became the guitarist in my trio when Ed retired from playing in 2001.

Murley, Schwager and Wallace — among Canada’s very best on their respective instruments — answer a calling that’s at least as important, if not more so, as deliberately and nakedly innovating. They invest themselves personally and meaningfully into songs and sentiments that have timeless resonance and obvious beauty — and I’ll gladly listen to that kind of achievement any day.I originally formed this trio with the intent of playing standards in an intimate setting with Ed and bassist Steve Wallace. The sound and style that emerged from this group was certainly shaped in no small part by these two veteran musicians. Steve is Toronto’s answer to Ray Brown, as swinging a bassist as you will find anywhere. Ed is simply a master of the jazz guitar who has had a huge influence on the generations that followed him. He and Reg share a subtle yet strong musical sensibility and both are incredibly empathic accompanists. Reg brought these elements to the trio in his own personal way without radically changing the overall sound of the group.

This present incarnation of the trio has performed together for well over a decade now, sometimes joined by flugelhorn master Guido Basso for concert or club dates. We also recorded a CD with chamber string ensemble for the CBC in 2006 with Guido and saxophonist Tara Davidson as guests. All that said, this is the first recording we are releasing as a trio.

I would like to dedicate “Looking Back” to the wonderful generation of Toronto musicians that includes Ed, Guido, Phil, Rick Wilkins, the late Rob McConnell. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with all of these master musicians from whom I have learned so much.

Mike Murley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRST CD143

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Click on links below for music samples.
Click here to listen to music samples or buy MP3 audio at the iTunes store.

1.

Isfahan (Billy Strayhorn) 6:54

2. Looking Back (Jimmy Rowles) 5:21
3. The Feeling of Jazz (Duke Ellington) 6:36
4.

I’ll Be Around (Alec Wilder) 7:41

5.

So in Love (Cole Porter) 5:31

6. If You Never Come to Me (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 6:16
7. I Wonder Who (Mike Murley) 5:48
8. Detour Ahead (Herb Ellis) 6:12
9. Who Cares (George Gershwin) 3:28