Bass clarinet is not the most common of instruments, so for a second I was slightly puzzled as to what could be making one of the most soulful sounds I've ever heard from a woodwind. Like a rich baritone voice, its sound was like a balm to the ears as it literally caresses them with its playing. Even when Murray gradually climbed the scale there was an elegance to the sound I've never associated with a clarinet. Usually there is something very aggressive and strident about the instrument that pushes it into the forefront whether its meant to be there or not. In this case, however, it blended itself in with the other instruments as a complement to the overall sound of the piece.
The Devil Tried To Kill Me is an example of how fiercely independent jazz is, and the benefits that we listeners derive from the fact that the music industry hasn't figured out how to control it yet. The combination of different styles of music contained within the eight tracks of the disc is not something you're liable to find on recordings of any type aside from jazz. The playing, and singing, from all involved is exemplary, with Murray's saxophone and bass clarinet leading from within instead of dragging everyone behind him. American and Caribbean music come together on this disc to create a sound as distinct as their individual parts, as unified as their common ancestry, and a genuine pleasure to listen to.