Drummer Mark Murdock Releases 'Cymbalic Encounters' CD
Says Mark, "The concept of 'Cymbalic Encounters' represents the 'Encountering of Symbolic Musicians' as my greatest success in music has been keeping company with great musicians."
"Mark Murdock's 'Cymbalic Encounters' fulfills a longtime elusive goal. I tried to feature more the inherent UK prog (progressive rock) element of the fusion band, Brand X - with little success. Mr. Murdock seems to have achieved this combination with remarkable ease." - John Goodsall
The cymbal in 'Cymbalic' symbolizes meeting up with another drummer. "When I was 15, I broke my snare drum head and went into a music store in Phoenix, my hometown, where I was approached by this hippie looking guy with a Liverpool accent, who inquired into the local music scene and identified himself as a drum roadie for a touring band from England and invited me to that evening's concert to meet the drummer and band he was working for. He presented me with backstage passes and tickets." There Mark was introduced to the drummer of the band, a guy named Phil Collins with the band Genesis. "To make a long story short, Phil was keen on American drummers and so we engaged in drummers' talk. I instantly loved Phil's drumming. I met him on every tour that Genesis made to the states and eventually made it over to the UK, just in time to hear Brand X in rehearsal at Islands Studios in Hammersmith, London, where I was introduced to the other members. They were preparing to record their first record. But I thought they were just jamming, so I used to jump on a percussion rig there and jam along. Not realizing what I was jamming to was the material for 'Unorthodox Behaviour'. I also went to their very first gigs at the London School Of Economics and The Marquee Club via Phil. He also used to allow me into Trident Recording Studios where Genesis was recording 'A Trick Of The Tail'. There might have been a hidden motive to this as I was sometimes recruited as the unpaid official Brand X 'Fish And Chips boy' and babysitter for Phil. But in return I used to listen to his personal tapes of the 'Lamb' tours and play his red upright piano with a green painting on the purple walls. It was really an ugly site!" laughs Mark. "At any rate, it made a great musical impression on my life - not the interior design, but the music, the creative element, the energy."
"Rated as '8' out of the 'Best 10 CDs in 2012'! Mark Murdock - 'Cymbalic Encounters': Murdock surrounds himself with a group of outstanding players, delivering one of the best solo albums by a drummer that I have heard in a LONG time. Includes the smooth bass sounds of Percy Jones...the always in the right groove playing of John Goodsall - 'THE CLOSEST THING' to a new Brand X album that you'll come close to, with a twist." - Gary Brown, American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio, UK.
Mark Murdock started playing drums at a young age in Phoenix, Arizona. He played in a local jazz-rock band 'Seacloud' gaining local recognition and featured on Phoenix radio KDKB sponsored album. Mark's British connections eventually led him to Peter Banks, original guitarist with YES, who he teamed up with in Peter Banks Empire in Los Angeles where he showcased in Empire and recorded a demo which later was released on CD as 'Empire Mark III' on One Way Records. Mark was also mentioned in the Peter Banks biography (co-written by Billy James) 'Beyond And Before'.
And just how did Mark bring Percy Jones and David Sancious together on the bonus track (song 14) "Waters From Marsh Harbour"?
Mark explains, "In terms of Percy, I have been in touch with him probably the longest out of anyone from Brand X. I moved to New York from Phoenix, only to find that Percy had moved there, as well. So, I just happened to have had the opportunity to write and record three tracks with David Sancious, who I met in Phoenix before moving east. David was touring with Jack Bruce (Cream) and Billy Cobham was their drummer, who had broken his TAMA Octobans stand. The owner of the club called me, knowing I was the only guy in Arizona who possessed one, so I hooked Billy up with my stand and got free tickets and a chance to hang with the band. I played David my recent recording that I had made with keyboardist Allan Zavod (Jean-Luc Ponty, Zappa). I assume David liked what he heard...he suggested that if I was ever on the east coast to look him up, which is exactly what I did shortly afterwards. I spent a few days at David's house writing a three song demo which we later recorded. David's playing is so profound! I quickly invited Percy to record bass on our tracks at Unique Studios in NYC. Brand X was actually scheduled for a 2012 tour with David Sancious, but it fell through. As a result I decided to add the track to 'Cymbalic Encounters' to show that they in fact joined forces below. Percy has supported me on numerous projects including 'Eyes Down' with songwriting, recording and playing live gigs. The 'Eyes Down' CD features guest appearances by violinist Shankar (Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa, Shakti) percussionist Mino Cinelu (Miles Davis, Weather Report) and drummer/vocalist Tony 'Thunder' Smith (John Mclaughlin, Lou Reed) Percy is a 'one of a kind' bassist. He never plays inside the music, but plays outside just enough to keep within musical constraints in a mysterious way. I have always admired his musical sense."