Mingus Murray is a singer-songwriter who’ll be performing at SXSW this March. The son of avant-garde jazz musician David Murray, the Harlem-based Murray released his debut album, Mingus, in September (available here).
Rather than taking cues from his father’s peers, Murray’s debut is heavily informed by the soul inflected sounds of the Soulquarians, as well as the rock leaning Neptunes-helmed N.E.R.D. albums. At its best, the result feels breezy and fun, without feeling light. Indeed, the album’s highest points, like the Hendrix-inspired “Train Whistle”, allow Murray to free associate lyrically and musically. When Murray sings, “more than enough/behind all that fuss”, the couplet serves as both a plea for simplicity within the context of the track, as well as a position statement for his music. The album only falters when Murray allows his influences to lead him astray, as he does with the Prince-emulating “On the Telephone”.
The falters are few though and we’re excited to hear more from Mingus Murray as he continues to explore his own sound going forward.