Tamara Murphy

double bassist/composer/improviser


Here, you’ll find info about all kinds of music-making that I’m
involved in.
Scroll down, you’ll see past events, reviews and general info.
If you have any queries, feel free to drop me a line via email.

Also, Murphy’s Law are on Facebook too! Feel free to visit and
‘like’ our page!

August 2014

So, I’ve been busily writing away and chipping at arranging new songs
for Murphy’s Law, string quartet and turntables for our upcoming gig
in November…. Lots to do! Quite excited about this one – we’re reprising
our 2008 release Street Art plus some debuts…. More details to follow.
We’ll be in the lush surrounds of the Melbourne Recital Centre once again
so stay tuned – and in the meantime, go to The Recital Centre Website
for tickets and more info!

May, 2014

Well, it’s been a busy couple of months! We’ve been gearing up
for our upcoming show:
This Saturday, May 10th, Murphy’s Law are performing Big
Creatures & Little Creatures at the Melbourne Recital Centre in
the Salon.

Last night I was chatting to the lovely David and Corey on Joy FM,
on their show Bent Notes about it. (Go here for more info on
their show!)

For tickets and more info, go to the Melbourne Recital Centre Website

January, 2014

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve just come off a nice little tour
with Canadian singer, Ben Caplan. We started at the Woodford
Folk Festival just after Christmas and played at a bunch of places
on the east coast, finishing at the Sydney Festival.

Check out his music and blog here

Here are some pics:

May, 2013

Thanks to Roger Mitchell for taking these lovely pics!
I was playing with Cannonball – here is the link to the full
article in Roger’s blog: click here

bell awards 2013

February 8, 2013

Here, we have another review of Big Creatures & Little Creatures!

Murphy’s Law
Big Creatures & Little Creatures
(3.5 stars)
BASSIST Tamara Murphy, who received the 2012 inaugural PBS
Young Elder of Jazz Commission, heads a band here with drummers
Joe Talia and Daniel Farrugia, trombonist Jordan Murray and guitarist
Nashua Lee. The ensemble blends heady atmospherics with grooves
and melodies, along with a mix of electronics and superlative
musicianship. Boulders Make Strong Friends opens with Murray
providing a thrusting staccato trombone over guitar, bass and
drums. It shifts to a riveting guitar solo, underpinned by driving
drums before fading into electronic atmospherics. The track then
segues into Refractal, followed by the final take, Bitter Sweet.
Opening with Murphy’s accentuated bass, Murray’s trombone then
enters so subdued, floating across the top like a wraith.
As Murphy starts bowing the bass, her distinctly classical lines come
through over Lee’s guitar. This is enchanting stuff, it’s hypnotic and
hallucinatory, and is not an album you mindlessly play in the
background. Rather, it requires close listening.

-Leon Gettler
EG, The Age, Friday 8th February, 2013.

January 23, 2013

Here’s a lovely review of the Keller-Murphy-Browne gig
on Monday night at bennett’s lane, by Eric Pozza, from his
blog, Canberra Jazz…
To see it live, go to:

But here it is anyway in full…:

It felt like a flight of angels passing by. The closest thing to
Heaven. This was the Allan Browne, Tamara Murphy, Andrea Keller
Trio playing in the dim light of Bennett’s Lane.
It was a Monday night, which seems to be an evening allocated
to Allan for his gatherings. He’s a long term name. I mentioned
hearing his name in the ’70s from Adelaide and he corrected me to
the ’60s. Then he was telling a visiting Canadian saxist that he’d
played at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and it was big, everyone was
there, Miles… I think of Art Blakey and Paul Motion, serious and
respected, who gathered such important musicians around them.

This is a trio formed out of the Melbourne International Jazz
Festival four years back. There’s a air of caring here and Allan
mentioned it. The music is gentle, the volume is low – mostly – and
the listening is obvious. Andrea’s tone is a thing of Heaven, the
lightest touch that speaks of her attachment and love of playing. It’s
obvious as she sits, bent over the keys, smiling. This is intimate; you
feel privileged to be allowed into this space. Tamara, too. It’s a
heavier instrument and her strings are not light. As bassists
interminably do, we discussed strings and setups (Tamara, excuse
me). She obviously works to get the sounds from her bass. It’s quite
a hard sound, with short sustain, played expressively and very
melodically. She grimaces with some notes. She often sings with
phrases. It’s a recommendation made to many players, to sing with
solos to avoid muscle memory and cliches. Tamara is not faking.
This is clearly real. And the old man of the set is the host and
raconteur, introducing with wit and affection. His playing is also of
the lightest touch, switching through mallets and sticks (not sure if
I remember brushes), but can also be explosive, louder, just once I
noticed it drowning out the rest, but always responsive as the wise
and experienced can be.

Their music was mainly original. Tamara’s Lullaby at the end was a
clear favourite of the audience and a feature for the band, but there
were a string of others, like Tamara’s Travellers or Andrea’s That day
or Allan’s Cyclosporine. They all wrote. They played Monk’s
Hackensack and I think it was an another Andrea original that had
clear strains of Monk. They played Fats Waller’s most perfect jazz
tune, Jitterbug waltz. They had started with Henry Mancini’s Days of
wine and roses. From the top, this was softly spoken and richly
altered. The tune only became evident after perhaps a chorus of
Andrea’s improvisation. Then even when the cycles were obvious,
the phrasing remained displaced, sequenced, expansive over a
patter of busy drums and the bass working the changes. This is
classic piano trio stuff; the stuff of legend. Andrea said later that
Bill Evans had a light touch. I checked Youtube. Bill’s touch was
somewhat heavier than Andrea’s, but I felt in company like that.
Invited to an intimate space by fluent but reflective hosts;
entertaining but not entertainment. A gift. My theology is rusty,
but I could imagine that’s what Heaven is, or is said to be. Allan
Browne (drums), Tamara Murphy (bass) and Andrea Keller (piano)
performed at Bennett’s Lane.

Posted by Eric Pozza

January 14, 2013

We are very honoured by Eastside radio in Sydney, who have
made Big Creatures & Little Creatures album of the week!! Go here
to have a look!! They are giving away one copy each day this week,
so tune in!
Thanks Eastside radio!!!!!

Here is the full blurb:

“Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week is Big Creatures & Little
Creatures by Murphy’s Law.

After winning the PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission in 2011,
Melbourne double bassist Tamara Murphy set about an alternative
and different project. Adding to her double bass came an electric
guitar, drums, trombone and electronic soundscapes. The result
was this quite brilliant album Big Creatures & Little Creatures.

From the album artwork, which has transformable covers that lets
the owner play with them and choose how they want it to look; to
the suite of 5 movements that the LP is made up of, the whole affair
is modern and artistic.

Each movement on the album is designed to let each member of the
quintet to showcase their different instrument. The result is a sound
that sways between alternative jazz, neo classical and post rock. As
such moods vary throughout, from lush ambience, fiery resonance
and moody textures. Undeniably it’s a unique sounding and thought
provoking experience.

Big Creatures and Little Creatures is an independent release by
Tamara Murphy. For more information go to tamaramurphy.com
Stay closely tuned to Eastside as we are giving away a copy of Big
Creatures & Little Creatures to a listener every-day this week!”

January 8, 2013

It’s a new year and here at Murphy’s Law HQ, we are trying to
fulfil our resolutions by getting a bit more organised and
putting all of our albums up on Bandcamp for all of our local
supporters (the albums are cheaper on this site for Aussies).
Also, all of the downloads on Bandcamp are also cheaper for
everyone all over the planet :)
Here is the link if you are interested in having a look:

Also, we have some other fun plans on the way: one of
our drummers, Joe Talia, is currently remixing a few special
tracks from our last album.
If you’re on our mailing list, you will be receiving a download
code in the next month or so to get one of the tracks for free,
so pop your name down if you’re not already on it! (We do
mailouts very rarely, so don’t be alarmed – we promise not to
spam you!)

We hope all of your New Years are off to a flying start!

December 7, 2012

I’m very excited on honoured to be playing tonight with
the one and only Chistine Anu! She’s playing tunes from
the Aretha Franklin songbook, in a very intimate and
unplugged setting at Bennett’s Lane. It’s sold out tonight,
but we’re on again tomorrow and I believe there’s still some
tickets left… Here’s a link:

Bookings: Bennett’s Lane Tix

December 5, 2012

On the weekend, there was a lovely review of Big
Creatures & Little Creatures by John McBeath in The
Australian. Here it is!

The Australian Review

November 20, 2012

So, our newest album is available on Bandcamp! Go to
http://murphyslawmelbourne.bandcamp.com to grab a copy…

November 13, 2012

We just saw today’s copy of The Age, with a great review
of our CD launch! 4 stars…

November 11, 2012

Our CD launch is tonight!!! Hope to see lots of friendly
folk down at Bennett’s Lane!!
And in other news, we are now live on Bandcamp!! You
can purchase our new album ‘Big Creatures & Little
Creatures’ (both the physical album and digitally). To
have a look, go here

October 24, 2012

So… Yesterday we picked up a very special delivery…
Here are some sneaky pics of our CDs in progress… The
transformable covers are still in production, but until then,
check these out! They will be available at Bennett’s Lane on
November 11 in their finished form!

October 16, 2012

Hey All! We’re very excited as our new CD is currently in
production! We’ll have pics up here soon of the amazing
artwork (by local artist, Jacqueline Murphy), plus we’re
doing 100 special edition discs with transformable covers….
The CD LAUNCH is on November 11th @ Bennett’s Lane,
with the lovely Erkki Veltheim supporting us on solo viola.
Stay Tuned!

June 3rd, 2012

Murphy’s Law were very excited to see this lovely review from
Roger Mitchell of the premiere of “Big Creatures and Little
Creatures” at Bennett’s Lane as part of the 2012 Melbourne
International Jazz Festival. We played this piece for the first
time after 6 months of rehearsal and we’re planning to record
the suite later this year.

“timbres well crafted in new suite”

read more

July, 2011

Over the years, I’ve been very lucky to have photographs taken
of some of my gigs by the amazing Laki Sideris. To have a look
at his fine work, go here

Oct 8th, 2008

Here’s a review of Tanuki’s Revenge, found in the Weekend
Australian, by John McBeath.

“truly dream-like sequences”

read more

Sept 21, 2008

Another review! This one is for Street Art, from the Sunday Herald

“Murphy has inspired a wildly successful integration of classical,
jazz and electronica”
-Roger Mitchell

read in full

June 26, 2005

Reviews for Telling Tales! This is from the Sunday Herald Sun, by
Kenny Weir.

“Melbourne band spins fine tales with soul and style”

To read in full, go here

November 2004

Our first CD review for Murphy’s Law!

“There’s been no shortage of strong CD releases by locals bands this
year, but the one I’ve been most excited by is the debut album from
Murphy’s Law”
-Adrian Jackson, Rhythms Magazine.

To read in full, go here