ReviewsIn short, this is a model biography. Richly detailed, balanced and consistently thoughtful, it should be enjoyed not only by its core audience, committed Murphy admirers, but also by the general reader.
London Jazz News
A 360-degree perspective on Mark Murphy's uniqueness and authenticity. I liked the clear narrative and Peter Jones’ probing, questioning approach; and the section on Murphy’s uninhibited, no-safety-net teaching methods is unputdownable.
Sebastian Scotney, editor of London Jazz News
Author Pete Jones is obviously a dedicated Mark Murphy enthusiast, but his research possessed more of an academic approach than the usual sensationalist tactic acquired by many biographers. The inclusion of two additional appendices and an extensive discography at the end of the book highlight this. The author did not regurgitate known tales but examined and reexamined these and questioned many of the stories and ‘self-created myths’ regarding Murphy throughout the book. His life was so extraordinary that false tales were not required to make Murphy seem interesting – his life was totally unique. Mainstream acknowledgment may have escaped him during his lifetime, but with the passing of time, Murphy will hopefully be recognised as one of the true great voices in jazz.
Perhaps with a biography this fine, this honest, and this carefully researched, Mark Murphy will reach the wider audience that eluded him in his lifetime. Want some solid advice? Buy yourself any (or all!) of the albums listed above and Peter Jones’ This Is Hip—and enrich your life.
Jazz History Online
Jones writes lucidly and organizes considerable information well. Outside the body of the narrative, he reasonably offers a single appendix to more extensively analyze MM’s singing; there’s another appendix that does the same for the singer’s teaching. There is a complete discography and index. The book performs a valuable service, especially if it impels curious readers to discover the protean, challenging, and rewarding music of Mark Murphy.
The Arts Fuse