Monday, January 06, 2014

Murray McNabb posthumous album

Gianmarco Liguori. Photo: Lawrence Smith/Fairfax NZ

Sarang Bang Records to release last recording by Murray McNabb via Sunday Star Times... they also have a video including some snippets of the recording.

"[The] label now plans to release a series of vinyl records culled from the huge archive of McNabb's unreleased jazz recordings stretching to the 1960s.

The first album, slated for release early this year, was recorded in the months before McNabb's death and features McNabb on piano and keyboards, alongside drummer Frank Gibson and guitarist Neil Watson.

Sarang Bang Records founder Gianmarco Liguori said the final recording session for the album, entitled Every Day Is a Beautiful Day, was only days before McNabb's death.

"Frank picked Murray up from the hospice to record the last track, and he had all the IV equipment and his morphine pump and everything - he was almost gone. But once he got behind the keyboard, he was alive. He knew he had a few days to live. You can hear it in the music."

The album's seven tracks, totalling 61 minutes, are mastered and ready for publication, as is the cover artwork - a painting by McNabb. But rather than "dumping" the tracks online, Liguori is determined to do the music justice by giving it the full deluxe packaging of a vinyl release, complete with "large-format photos, liner notes - the works". 

He is seeking funding assistance from Creative New Zealand, but was turned down in their latest grants round. "These things will come out, but it will just be a bit slower if the funding doesn't come through."

After Every Day Is a Beautiful Day , Liguori has another five albums of McNabb's music lined up, recorded as far back as the mid-1960s with a range of collaborators, including Australian saxophonist Bernie McGann, trumpeter Kim Paterson, guitarist Martin Winch and Liguori himself, who played guitar alongside McNabb in the instrumental ensemble Salon Kingsadore.

Sales of New Zealand-made jazz records are typically small, but Liguori said there are international markets to be tapped in Europe and Asia. "Unusually, Murray had quite a fan base in Japan. That's where he used to sell most of his CDs."

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