Albert Murray was a literary and jazz critic, novelist, essayist, and biographer. He held professorships, lectureships, and fellowships at various universities. He received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for his music criticism in 1976. Murray and Ralph Ellison became close friends following Murray’s time at the Tuskegee Institute; their relationship is chronicled in the book, Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. Murray was the co-founder of the program and institution, with Wynton Marsalis, of Jazz at Lincoln Center. His books include the Scooter trilogy (Train Whistle Guitar, The Spyglass Tree, and The Seven League Boots,; Stomping the Blues; From the Briarpatch File: On Context, Procedure, and American Identity; and The Blue Devils of Nada: A Contemporary American Approach to Aesthetic Statement.