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Fly: Year of the Snake

Read "Year of the Snake" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

While there are numerous jazz trios, few leave a lasting impression. This is not the case for Fly, consisting of younger but fully established jazz artists-- saxophonist extraordinaire Mark Turner and his equally talented cohorts, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. At just over ten minutes, the episodic “Kingston," from the trio's sophomore ECM release, Year of the Snake , encapsulates rousing composition and exhilarating improvisation. What begins tentatively, with inquisitive probing--elongated unison lines and gentle ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Fly: Year of the Snake

Read "Fly: Year of the Snake" reviewed by John Kelman

Fly Year of the Snake ECM Records 2012 When a group of musicians works together more often in extracurricular configurations with other leaders, what do they do when they come together for their own project? In the case of saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard--who, individually and collectively, have worked with everyone from pianist Brad Mehldau and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel to trumpeter Enrico Rava--it's Fly, the trio that released its self-titled ...

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Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

The near-unanimous acclaim that has greeted Fly's sophomore effort (and ECM debut) tends to see the trio as a second coming of the legendary Bill Evans Trio that recorded the classic Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961). That's the way people are talking about the record, anyway.The record doesn't sound like the Evans trio, nor is there any good reason why it should sound like a record almost fifty years old. The similarity ...

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Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard and Larry Grenadier first played together in 2000 as the Jeff Ballard Trio. Since then they have performed in different groups. The long association has helped establish immediacy between them, a reading of the minds that translates into absorbing music.

All three have contributed compositions to Sky & Country, the second release by their collaborative group Fly. The music has impeccable character in its ability to evolve and break open into some majestic improvisation. ...

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Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

15 years ago Mark Turner was among a trio of young tenors who were poised to have a lasting impact on jazz. However, having not had Joshua Redman's pedigree or James Carter's flair for self-promotion, Turner's major-label output came and went without generating the attention a musician of his caliber deserved. Today he is a member of Fly, a cooperative trio representing the best a sax-bass-drums lineup--featuring Brad Mehldau's rhythm section--has to offer. Bassist Larry Grenadier has ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Fly in La Jolla

Read "Fly in La Jolla" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

FlyAthenaeum Jazz at the Neurosciences InstituteLa Jolla, CaliforniaApril 18, 2009It appeared an inauspicious venue for a jazz concert--a mile from Interstate Five in La Jolla, California, not in the village's quaint and stylish old sea-side downtown, but rather snugged in a tract of blocky and nondescript industrial type buildings housing a variety of bio-tech/research firms. But there at the Neurosciences Institute one finds a marvelous auditorium where, on April 18, 2009, Fly displayed their egalitarian ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Trio of One: Fly at the Jazz Standard

Read "Trio of One: Fly at the Jazz Standard" reviewed by Eric Benson

FlyJazz StandardNew York, NYApril 10, 2009 Instruments are versatile husks, possessing limited range and a particular timbre, but no set personality of their own. The piano can channel the thoughts of musicians as different from one another as Cecil Taylor and Bill Evans; the saxophone can express the passions of Stan Getz just as easily as it can those of Albert Ayler. Yet despite the diversity, instruments get broadly typecast: the trumpet with Miles' feline ...

INTERVIEWS

Fly: Complete Collaboration

Read "Fly: Complete Collaboration" reviewed by Jason Crane

The Fly trio has just released its second CD--and its first for ECM--Sky & Country (2009). Bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Jeff Ballard and saxophonist Mark Turner redefine the saxophone trio by making it an entirely democratic group, with compositional contributions from all three of its members.

The trio approaches performance with an equally egalitarian philosophy that largely eschews conventional instrumental roles as well. Melody is just as likely to be heard coming from Ballard as it ...

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Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The trio Fly has been described as “two thirds of the Brad Mehldau Trio and a saxophonist." Not to diminish reed man Mark Turner--who is the other third of group--but as an acknowledgment of his band mates' higher profiles. And if the higher profiles of the other two thirds--bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard--pulls in a higher percentage of attention for Fly, all the better.

Sky and Country is the group's second offering, and it's debut on ...

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Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Oh, the modesty of the members of the trio known as Fly. They might just as well have called themselves Super Fly--their initial release for ECM Records is indeed special.

Saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard all contribute compositions to Sky & Country, which follows their debut, FLY (Savoy, 2004), and is sure to garner attention for its democracy and equilibrium in approach and sound.

Turner seemingly never plays a harsh note. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Fly: Sky & Country

Read "Sky & Country" reviewed by John Kelman

Despite a debut that failed to generate much noise, Fly's sophomore effort--its first for ECM- -ought to. Dispelling the ECM myth of neglecting American music, this trio--featuring perennially undervalued saxophonist Mark Turner alongside Brad Mehldau Trio mates, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard-- finds its own nexus of head and heart. Dave Holland's Triplicate (ECM, 1988) might be a precedent, but that was a harder swinging effort more closely linked to the American tradition. Fly swings in its own ...


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