University of Toronto
Artist's BiographyAn engaging, lyrical saxophonist, Mike Murley is one of Canadaâ€™s finest jazz talents and one of the most versatile players on the scene today. Currently active as a leader in various formations from duo to septet, Murley also maintains a busy schedule as a sideman and jazz educator (University of Toronto). He has played on ten Juno Award-winning recordings and was named saxophonist of the year eight times by the Jazz Report Awards/National Jazz Awards.
Since moving to Toronto from his native Nova Scotia in 1981 Murley has enjoyed a career that has spanned a wide stylistic spectrum. Recordings with veteran Canadian artists such as Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, and the late Rob McConnell showcase the saxophonistâ€™s talents in the mainstream standard repertoire. On the more contemporary side, Murley has collaborated frequently with the younger generation of improviser/composers including pianist David Braid and guitarist David Occhipinti. He is also well known for his work with the multi-Juno Award-winning electric jazz group Metalwood, which released six critically acclaimed albums between 1997 and 2003. In addition he has recorded and performed with numerous other Canadian and international artists including Kenny Wheeler, John Scofield, David Liebman, and Paul Bley.
Murleyâ€™s latest release,Test of Time (Cornerstone Records), won the 2013 Juno Award for best mainstream Jazz Recording. Featuring legendary guitarist Ed Bickert and bassist Steve Wallace, this recently rediscovered 1999 recording is certainly made significant by the fact that it represents a new release featuring Bickert (who retired from playing professionally in 2001).
Murleyâ€™s debut recording for his septet, Still Rollinâ€™ (Cornerstone Records), was nominated for a 2012 Juno and features the saxophonistâ€™s compositions and arrangements performed by some of Canadaâ€™s finest jazz improvisers. His critically acclaimed 2006 recording, The Melody Lingers On (CBC Records), finds the saxophonistâ€™s trio live in concert at the Glenn Gould Studio with a twelve-piece string ensemble conducted by Rick Wilkins. Also featured on the recording are Guido Basso (flugelhorn) and Tara Davidson (saxes) with string arrangements by Murley and guitarist Reg Schwager. Murleyâ€™s two Juno Award-winning recordings as a leader were in 1991 for Two Sides (Unity Records) and in 2002 for Live at the Senator (Cornerstone).