All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

298

Mark Turner: Ballad Session

Mike Neely By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Mark Turner’s Ballad Session presents a tenor saxophonist of extraordinary poise and emotional attunement. Throughout this recording Turner deftly maintains his balance, avoiding sentimentality, presenting a consistently direct emotional response to the compositions and to his fellow musicians. This disc reveals Mark Turner to be a young musician to watch carefully.

Pianist Kevin Hays is an especially attentive accompanist whose solos add to the emotional focus of this recording. Bassist Larry Grenadier plays a spare, loping bass that allows plenty of room for interaction. Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel alternates with Hays in the second instrument slot, replacing Hays on about half of the disc’s tracks. He is also an excellent accompanist; his duet work with Turner is a highlight of this recording. Drummer Brian Blade’s presence is low-key and affective throughout; his lack of an intrusive ego is notable.

Above this band soars Mark Turner with a clear, bright sound that often emphasizes the higher registers of the tenor. The earthier Zoot Sims provides an interesting comparison to Turner. They both have a harmonic sophistication that results in a sure-footed ability to make every phrase sound as if it were inevitable.

Turner has succeeded in developing a band that seems to bring out the best in him. This recording is a dramatic advance from his earlier (1998) somewhat “steely” disc entitled In This World the difference being the emotional depth of this very fine session. Highly recommended.

Tracks:I Loves You Porgy; Some Other Time; Nefertiti; Skylark; No More; All Or Nothing At All; Visions; Alone And I; Late Lament; Jesus Maria. (55:12)

Personnel: Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Kevin Hays, piano; Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar; Larry Grenadier, bass; Brian Blade, drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Warner Bros. | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Catching Up With
Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Mark Turner: Lathe of Heaven
Mark Turner: Lathe of...
ECM Records
2014
buy
Lathe of Heaven
Lathe of Heaven
ECM Records
2014
buy
Dharma Days
Dharma Days
Warner Bros.
2001
buy
Cedar Walton Cedar Walton
piano
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan
sax, baritone

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.