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Jazz Critic Albert Murray Leaves Behind Lasting Legacy

By Alexandra Hill, WBGO News
August 19, 2013

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One of Jazz music’s most influential and accomplished critics, Albert Murray, died today at the age of 97.

Albert Murray, novelist, jazz critic and essayist, was known through his work for challenging conventional ideas of American culture and art. Some of Murray’s most famous works includes a collection of essays entitled Stomping the Blues, and the autobiography of Count Basie, co-written by Murray. He was also known for establishing Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis. Actor Wendell Pierce calls Murray a cultural oracle and a brilliant mentor.

“What makes something classic is the fact that it speaks to humanity across time and no matter what time or age that when you come and encounter their work it speaks to you, and I think that’s going to be the lasting legacy of Albert Murray.”

Wendell says it is because of Murray’s work that jazz is known around the world as one of the only purely American art forms.

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