Mark Turner Quartet - Lathe Of Heaven (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz
Artist: Mark Turner Quartet
Title: Lathe Of Heaven
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Modern Creative, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Recorded: June 2013, Avatar Studios, New York
Mark Turner is one of the most admired saxophonists of his generation, renowned for his exploratory intellect and intimate expressivity on the full range of the tenor. This is his ECM leader debut, following albums for the label in the cooperative trio Fly with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard, and appearances on key recordings by Billy Hart, Enrico Rava and Stefano Bollani. Turner leads a quartet of kindred spirits here, often entwining in serpentine fashion with rising-star trumpeter Avishai Cohen. They play long, introspective lines of hypnotic grace; and with the lithe rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, there is subtle volatility in the air.
Saxophonist Mark Turner favors quality over quantity. Lathe of Heaven—his first outing as a leader since 2001—is his first on the ECM label. Turner has hardly been absent from the music scene as the intervening years have seen him as a sideman for guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and saxophonist David Binney among many others. He's gathered strong praise for his role on trumpeter Enrico Rava's fine New York Days (ECM, 2009) and as one-third of the trio FLY with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier.
Turner cites saxophonists Wayne Marsh and John Coltrane as primary influences; not surprising in that Turner demonstrates the same cerebral approach to his craft. Equally influential was growing up in a home where R&B was frequently in the air and that soulful element is always present in Turner's playing. The interactions within the group, particularly between Turner and trumpeter Avishai Cohen are traditional in methodology, retaining the melody throughout almost ubiquitous and intricate improvising. Without benefit of a chord instrument, Turner supplies the overall texture of these pieces by utilizing the full range of the tenor in pieces that are as expressive as they are inventive.
The title track demonstrates that beyond Turner's classic orientations, he has developed a seasoned style that can be easily identified as his own. His use of recurrent structures is balanced with complex time signatures and episodic jumps. The quartet takes the limited number of empty spaces and gives them a positive form unifying the composition and improvisations. "Year of the Rabbit"—a compliment to Fly's title track from Year of the Snake (ECM, 2012)—is angular with post-bop style solos but is in keeping with the overall mid-tempo tone of Lathe of Heaven. "Brother Sister" is a cover version of another composition from the aforementioned Fly recording but here given a fresh, more wide-open make-over.
"Ethan's Line," refers to pianist Ethan Iverson with whom Turner collaborated on drummer Billy Hart's All Our Reasons and One is the Other (ECM, 2012 & 2014) and provides Turner some deeply inspired solo time. Bassist Joe Martin's pensive solo opens "Sonnet for Stevie," a tribute to Stevie Wonder and an opportunity for Turner to immerse himself in the blues. Cohen—who has yet to receive the wider recognition he deserves—has a beautiful extended solo that validates stylistic comparisons to Miles Davis.
Lathe of Heaven demands of its musicians, a pluralistic intelligence in order to sustain the core lyrical melodies in the face of pervasive improvisation. The always present rhythm section of Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore adeptly handle the task of keeping the music grounded but flexible. It's a literate collection of clearly articulated ideas, free from pyrotechnics but full of furtive passages, emotion and harmony. --Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz
Saxophonist Mark Turner has steadily built a career as one of the lesser ballyhooed if no less talented jazz saxophonists of his generation. Indebted to such icons of musical intellectualism as Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Warne Marsh, Turner has a fluid, egoless style, grounded in motivic, harmony-based improvisation that's always understated yet never fails to grab your attention. Borrowing the title from Ursula K. Le Guin's 1971 dystopian science fiction novel in which a person's dreams may or may not alter our reality, Turner's 2014 ECM release, Lathe of Heaven, is a measured, thoughtfully precise album that blurs the lines between post-bop jazz, classical chamber music, and free improvisation. Working with his pianoless quartet featuring trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Marcus Gilmore, Turner has developed an ensemble-based approach to jazz that sidesteps both traditional and avant-garde jazz conventions at every turn. In fact, while the aesthetics of Turner's songs lean toward free jazz (and there are certainly moments of unbridled free improv and group interplay on the album), Lathe of Heaven is noticeably devoid of the instrumental skronk and squelch often associated with freer forms of jazz. Instead, Turner's music is formal, minimalist, lacking in frenetic bebop or blues-based inflection, and primarily focused on long-form melodic statements that Turner and Cohen often play in harmonized counterpoint. This is deeply meditative, intellectual music that defies categorization while at the same time bringing to mind such disparate touchstones as '70s Kenny Wheeler, '60s Ornette Coleman, and the lyrical '50s West Coast cool of the Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan pianoless quartet. Ultimately, in much the same way that the layers of our dreams are stripped back to reveal a deeper, more profound, and at times unsettling truth in Le Guin's novel, with his Lathe of Heaven Turner strips back layers of jazz style and language to reveal a sound that is both familiar and utterly new. --Matt Collar, AllMusic
1. Lathe of Heaven 06:41
2. Year of the Rabbit 12:20
3. Ethan's Line 08:01
4. The Edenist 08:12
5. Sonnet for Stevie 12:58
6. Brother Sister 10:09
Mark Turner, tenor saxophone
Avishai Cohen, trumpet
Joe Martin, double bass
Marcus Gilmore, drums
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