172

Fly: Sky & Country

By

Sign in to view read count
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 FLY has two writing credits on Sky & Country, while drummer Jeff Ballard has three. The urban hard bop of Ballard's "Lady B" has Turner tipping into the high range on his intensified tenor and on the CD's title track a slinky, slightly ominous rhythm underscores Turner's dark chocolate soprano sax. Grenadier offers "CJ," which allows Turner to bring his depth and gentle touch to a memorable ballad, and "Transfigured," which marries the bassist's bow to soprano while Ballard's mallets tumble in the background in the disc's most atmospheric track. It's Turner's long and absorbing "Anandananda" that serves as the centerpiece performance, opening with a pensive tenor solo before being joined by bass and finally drums as the two-part piece transforms itself into a tango.

In the studio Fly plays against ECM's reputation for recording classically-oriented improvisers in a clinical, almost sterile, setting. On Easter Sunday 2009, the last of four nights at New York's Jazz Standard, lined up nearly shoulder to shoulder across the cozy stage the band benefited from charged interaction and their ability to communicate ideas to one another and the audience. Turner moved vertically with his notes like a piston, his tone on tenor whispery, confident and conspiratorial, drawing in listeners. Ballard leaned into his drum kit to supply the correct accents and dynamics that spurred each tune and Grenadier tied the two together with a forceful woody tone that resonated through the club. Live, the music expanded past the boundaries of home listening, emphasizing shared intuitions and mutually supported risk-taking.

Track Listing: Lady B; Sky & Country; Elena Berenjena; CJ; Dharma Days; Ananda Nanda; Perla Morena; Transfigured; Super Sister.

Personnel: Mark Turner: tenor and soprano saxophones; Larry Grenadier: double-bass; Jeff Ballard: drums.

Title: Sky & Country | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
In Pictures
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Sky & Country

Sky & Country

ECM Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Live at I.C.U.U. Album Reviews
Live at I.C.U.U.
By Karl Ackermann
June 16, 2019
Read 789 Miles Album Reviews
789 Miles
By David A. Orthmann
June 16, 2019
Read Follow Me Album Reviews
Follow Me
By Roger Farbey
June 16, 2019
Read You Get What You Give Album Reviews
You Get What You Give
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
June 16, 2019
Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019