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Mark Shim: Turbulent Flow

Jim Santella By

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Mark Shim’s modern mainstream quintet consists of first-rate artists who possess the technical skills necessary for fast-paced improvisation. This is not a swinging session; the arrangements are intended to push hard and provide the listener with a mood of intensity. The rambling nature allows each artist his solo spots with the opportunity to pump a lot of notes into this hard bop formula. A young lion, Shim was born November 21, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica. His parents moved to Canada while he was still a toddler, but later settled in Richmond Virginia. Shim attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied jazz. In 1993 the saxophonist transferred to William Paterson College. His influences include Sonny Rollins, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Joe Henderson, and Gene Ammons, while his mentors include both Hamiet Bluiett and David Murray. But Shim’s best teaching came from "the school of Betty Carter."

While the title track isn’t quite representative of the session, its name "Turbulent Flow" sums up the album quite well. Except for "Eminence" the album features rushed passages without breathing space and far too many notes. Drummer Eric Harland – an excellent companion for Shim who did a capable job on the saxophonist’s debut album – is too often "in your face;" even on Joe Henderson’s "Recorda Me." The others are in and out for this blowing session, never slowing to let the music settle. Harris lays out for several numbers, but even as a quartet, the ensemble has far too much going on all the time.

Title: Turbulent Flow | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: W.E.R.F.

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