Paul F Murphy

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Paul F. Murphy
Murphy Fragman+2.png
Background information
Birth namePaul Florence Murphy
Born(1949-01-25)January 25, 1949
Worcester, Massachusetts
GenresJazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz
Associated actsJimmy Lyons, Larry Willis

Paul F. Murphy (January 25, 1949) is a percussionist, bandleader and composer. He is best known for having led a variety of small jazz ensembles, and for his long tenure in groups led by saxophonist Jimmy Lyons.[1]

Murphy began playing drums at a very early age and made the acquaintance of Gene Krupa at age six. He went on to study with Krupa, Louis Bellson, and Joseph Levitt, the principle percussionist of the National Symphony Orchestra and director of the Peabody Conservatory.[1]

At age sixteen, Murphy began playing in the Washington, D.C. area with Duke Ellington's bassist Billy Taylor[1], who exposed him to the music of pianist Cecil Taylor. At Billy Taylor's advice, Murphy moved to San Francisco, where he established himself as a bandleader.[2] While there, he met and befriended Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Lyons.[1] At the suggestion of Lyons, he then moved to New York, where he managed Ali's Alley, a club run by drummer Rashied Ali, and began playing and recording with Lyons' groups as well as his own quintet.[3] While in New York, Murphy immersed himself in both the experimental jazz and punk rock scenes.[2]

Following Lyons' untimely death in 1986,[4] Murphy spent time playing drums in Las Vegas, then moved back to San Francisco, where he formed Trio Hurricane with saxophonist Glenn Spearman and bassist William Parker.[3] He moved back to the Washington, D.C. area in 1990, and has since collaborated with pianists Joel Futterman and Larry Willis[5], poet Jere Carroll, and others.[1] [3]


As leader

  • In a Dream Stream: Paul Murphy at CBS (Murphy Records, 1981) with Mary Anne Driscoll
  • Red Snapper: Paul Murphy At CBS (CIMP, 1982) with Jimmy Lyons, Dewey Johnson, Karen Borca, Mary Anne Driscoll
  • Cloudburst: Paul Murphy at RCA (Murphy Records, 1983) with Jimmy Lyons, Dewey Johnson, Karen Borca, Mary Anne Driscoll
  • Trio Hurricane: Suite Of Winds (Black Saint Records, 1986) with Glenn Spearman and William Parker (musician)|William Parker
  • Trio Hurricane: Live At Fire In The Valley (Eremite Records, 1997) with Glenn Spearman and William Parker (musician)|William Parker
  • Breakaway (Murphy Records, 2001) with Joel Futterman and Jere Carroll
  • Enarre (Cadence_Jazz|Cadence, 2002) with Joel Futterman and Kash Killion
  • Shadow * Intersections * West (Cadence_Jazz|Cadence, 2004) with Marco Eneidi and Kash Killion
  • Excursions (Murphy Records, 2007) with Larry Willis and Jere Carroll
  • Exposé (Murphy Records, 2008) with Larry Willis and Jere Carroll
  • Foundations (Murphy Records, 2009) with Larry Willis and Jere Carroll
  • Freedom's Bell (Murphy Records, 2017) with Larry Willis, Jere Carroll, and Dominic Fragman

As sideman

With Jimmy Lyons

  • Riffs (hat MUSICS, 1982)
  • Wee Sneezawee (Black Saint Records, 1984)
  • Give It Up’’ (Black Saint Records, 1985)
  • Jimmy Lyons Box Set (Ayler Records, 2003)

With Larry Willis

  • Sunshower (Mapleshade, 2001)
  • The Powers of Two (Mapleshade, 2004)
  • The Powers of Two, Volume 2 (Mapleshade, 2004)

With Raphe Malik

  • Companions (Eremite Records, 2002)

With Eddie Gale

  • A Minute With Miles (Mapleshade, 1992)

With Mary Anne Driscoll

  • Inside Out (CIMP, 2004)

With Kendra Shank

  • Afterglow (Mapleshade, 1994)

With Windmill Saxophone Quartet

  • Touch of Evil (Mapleshade, 2002)


  • Vision Volume One: Vision Festival 1997 Compiled (AUM Fidelity, 1998)


External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fragman, Dominic (2013). "Murphy, Paul F(lorence)". In Garrett, Charles Hiroshi (ed.). The_New_Grove_Dictionary_of_Music_and_Musicians (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 607. ISBN 9780195314281.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fragman, Dominic. "Paul F. Murphy: Playing Universally", All About Jazz, 28 April 2010. Retrieved on 29 February 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jenkins, Todd S. (2004). "Murphy, Paul". Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 245–246.
  4. Kelsey, Chris. "Jimmy Lyons / Biography", Retrieved on 29 February 2020.
  5. Murph, John. "In Memoriam: Larry Willis (1942–2019), DownBeat, 14 October 2019. Retrieved on 29 February 2020.

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