MARK MURPHY has enjoyed a prolific 40-year recording career, with over 40 releases to date. His original lyrics to “Stolen Moments,” “Red Clay,” and more are known the world over. His innovative projects range from the work of Nat “King” Cole to Jack Kerouac to Ivan Lins to Eddie Jefferson. “For decades, the question ‘What exactly is a jazz singer?’ has had two easy answers: Betty Carter and Mark Murphy.” writes the New York Post. “He is arguably the best male jazz singer in the business,” declares Rex Reed.
It was Sammy Davis, Jr. who first discovered the young Mark Murphy in 1953 at a jam session in Murphy’s hometown of Syracuse, New York. Impressed with Murphy’s talent, Davis invited him to his show that night, where he asked Murphy to join him on stage. Davis – to whom Murphy devoted his Muse release, What a Way to Go – was supportive throughout the years and was responsible for getting Murphy on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen. It was Allen’s composition, “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” that Mark recorded a hit rendition of in 1959.
Murphy’s recording career began at the age of 24 with his first release, Meet Mark Murphy (1956), on the Decca label. Producer Orrin Keepnews recalls Murphy’s early recordings as “timeless...it’s remarkable how fully developed as an artist Mark was so early on. He was born with his incredible rhythmic sense. And he’s matured throughout the years; his vocal powers remain undiminished.”
Mark Murphy continues to tour internationally year round, appearing at festivals, concerts, in the best jazz clubs, and on television programs throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Japan. He is one of the most important, and yes, hippest, jazz vocalists of our time. His secret? “There’s a party goin’ on in Mark’s head,” declares fan Liza Minnelli, “and I want to go to it!”