All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Profiles

2

Mark Turner: Grounded in a Spiritual World

Kurt Rosenwinkel By

Sign in to view read count
One of the most special things about Mark is the absolute egolessness of his involvement with music. He can do anything he wants on the saxophone; his abilities are completely unlimited. But he never has any particular agenda; he's just responding to the music at that moment, and his concern is with shaping the whole performance or song. So that results in a few things: it results in patience, and taste, and maturity, and empathy and graciousness and grace and blending and making and generosity. And then, in those moments where it's needed, because of the same reasons, he might just absolutely tear the roof off. And he can do that because of that natural, stable place from which he's coming. He's always a very grounded presence.

Mark is one of the most dedicated people I've ever met, both musically and in terms of his personal, spiritual journey in this life. He's very methodical. He's very patient. I remember when he almost cut off his hand with the electric saw: everybody was in shock—except for him! And the first time I talked to him after that, he was like, "Yeah, you know, I've had a pretty good run. It's okay." He had already accepted, and was already okay with, the prospect that he'd never play again. To me, that really illustrates where he's grounded. He's not grounded in this world; he's grounded in a deeper—not deeper, but larger—spiritual world. He's able to let go of any worldly things because he knows that his true root and home is in this larger, spiritual, cosmic world.

And another little anecdote about him that's really funny is: Because of where he's coming from, nothing around him really bothers him. And when we started to play internationally in concert halls, I remember many times, we'd be playing and he would take a solo and then I'd be taking a solo and then I would look to cue the melody out —and he wouldn't be there! And I'd turn around and he'd be behind us, on the floor, doing yoga! And I'd look at him and I'd be like raising my eyebrows like, "Here we go! It's coming around!" and he'd give me this look—like a thousand-mile stare. Actually, it was more of a complete, unaffected, no expression, just looking at me like—blank. And it always made me laugh. 'Cause you always knew he would be there—he'd just be nailing it. That was funny, 'cause that happened all the time, he was always doing that. It made me love him a little bit more each time.

Photo credit: Per Kreuger

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Savoy Records: From Newark To The World Profiles
Savoy Records: From Newark To The World
by Jordan Levy
Published: February 6, 2018
Read Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved Profiles
Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved
by Martin McFie
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica Profiles
Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica
by David Burke
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Matthew Yeakley: Keeping the Profession and Art of Jazz Alive in Los Angeles Profiles
Matthew Yeakley: Keeping the Profession and Art of Jazz...
by Jonathan Manning
Published: January 11, 2018
Read Fabian Almazan: Environmental Action Figure Profiles
Fabian Almazan: Environmental Action Figure
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 9, 2018
Read Gilly’s Remembered Profiles
Gilly’s Remembered
by Michael J. Williams
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Soweto Kinch: A Singular Jazz Odyssey" Profiles Soweto Kinch: A Singular Jazz Odyssey
by David Burke
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 1-2" Profiles Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 1-2
by Barry Witherden
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Gilly’s Remembered" Profiles Gilly’s Remembered
by Michael J. Williams
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Billy Krechmer: A Philadelphia Story" Profiles Billy Krechmer: A Philadelphia Story
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Glen Campbell: 1936-2017" Profiles Glen Campbell: 1936-2017
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Malcolm Griffiths: A Man For All Seasons" Profiles Malcolm Griffiths: A Man For All Seasons
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 4, 2017