Mike (Michael David) Murley. Saxophonist, composer, b Windsor, near Halifax, 12 Dec 1961; BFA (York) 1986. He has studied saxophone with Don Palmer in Halifax, Pat LaBarbera in Toronto, and Dave Liebman at the Banff CA Jazz Workshop and during a sojourn 1988-9 in New York. He also studied improvisation and composition in Banff and New York with Dave Holland. Playing tenor and soprano saxophone, Murley was a member 1984-9 of the Shuffle Demons and in 1984 joined Time Warp. He has also performed with several Toronto big bands and small jazz ensembles, and appeared in New York and Chicago in 1988 with the US organist Brother Jack McDuff.
In 1986 Murley established his own quartet, usually with John MacLeod (cornet, flugelhorn), Jim Vivian (bass), and Barry Elmes (drums). It has appeared in Toronto clubs and toured the western Canadian festival circuit in 1989 and in the Maritimes in 1990. For the co-operative Unity label founded in 1988 by MacLeod, Murley, and others, it has recorded the albums The Curse (1987-8, Unity 2) and Two Sides (1990, Unity 116, CD and cass). The latter, which also features Murley in duets with the pianist Brian Dickinson, won the 1990 Juno Award for jazz album of the year.
Murley, whose gregarious tenor style shows the influence of Sonny Rollins in its gruff tone and melodic phrasing and that of Joe Henderson in its harmonic mobility, also appears on albums by Dickinson and Forth Inversion (see MacLeod discography), Elmes, as well as Kevin Dean (Minor Indiscretions, 1990, McGill University Records 750041, CD), the Shuffle Demons, Rainer Wiens' Silk Stockings (A donde esta el mercado, B Fish 002), and Time Warp. Of his jazz themes, the best known is the slow blues Sometimes You Feel Like That, recorded by both Murley and the Demons.