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Eclectic Earwig Reviews
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Mark Turner
Dharma Days 
Warner Bros. 47998-2 
2001 05 08 

It took four Warner Bros. albums for Mark Turner to nail down his prodigiously
advanced concept and find a dream band to help him do it. Dharma Days is
the studio debut of Turnerís regular working quartet, with Kurt Rosenwinkel on
guitar, Reid Anderson on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. This is a live band
to the core, as was evident during its triumphant return to the Village
Vanguard stage in late May, timed to coincide with the album release. While
Dharma Days doesnít quite stir the adrenaline to the degree that the
live show does, the album is still a triumph, capturing a live feel to a far
greater degree than many of Turnerís previous offerings. 
 
Adding to the sessionís depth is the fact that this is Turnerís first all-
original outing. Having proven on previous efforts that he can play the post-
op staples and the ballads, heís free to take us an extended tour of his
compositional thinking, with no digressions. This includes a threefold tribute
to some of his contemporaries: pianist Ethan Iverson ("Iversonís Odyssey"),
altoist Myron Walden ("Myronís World") and, presumably, Jacky Terrasson
("Jackyís Place"). Other highlights include the haunting ballad "We Three," the
multi-episodic "Casa Oscura," and a freaky funk reworking of "Zurich" (from Turnerís 1994 Criss Cross debut Yam Yam). 

Together and separately, Turner and Rosenwinkel have developed what are arguably the most instantly identifiable styles in jazz today. Rosenwinkel continues to experiment sonically, phrasing in an odd, new way with the volume pedal on "Myronís World" and employing sound-on-sound chording during "Jackyís Place." (He relied on both effects during the live set as well.) And Turnerís labyrinthine lines and daunting harmonic language continue to set him apart from all of todayís young tenor stars. His conceptual contributions to the music are becoming nothing short of immense. ~David R. Adler 1. Iversonís Odyssey 2. Deserted Floor 3. Myronís World 4. We Three 5. Jackyís Place 6. Casa Oscura 7. Zurich 8. Dharma Days 9. Seven Points Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar; Reid Anderson, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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Mark Turner, Ballad Session (55:10); 47631-2, 2000 Warner Bros. Records 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Floor New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-275-4500 Cyberhome: www.wbjazz.com This collection is beautiful, but it offers a fairly limited view of Mark Turner's staggering talents. Of course, hearing him, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, and pianist Kevin Hays play ballads is a great pleasure. Sensitive support from bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade only makes it better. But the all-ballad format seems a little constrained, especially compared to the spellbinding original music Turner has been playing live lately. The repertoire for Ballad Session is quite well chosen, however. Instead of expected favorites like "Body and Soul" we have pieces by people like Carla Bley, Paul Desmond, and Bobby Hutcherson. Turner's intention is not simply to soothe, nor to pay blind obeisance to great tenors of the past. Bringing his youthful wisdom to the ballad form as only he can, Turner calls into question our preconceived notions of what a ballad can be - as is best exemplified by "Nefertiti" and "All or Nothing at All." ~David R. Adler, 3/2/00 Tracks: 1. I Loves You Porgy 2. Some Other Time 3. Nefertiti 4. Skylark 5. No More 6. All or Nothing at All 7. Visions 8. Alone and I 9. Late Lament 10. Jesus Maria Personnel: Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Kurt Rosenwinkel, guitar (except 1, 4, 10, 11); Kevin Hays, piano (except 3-6, 9); Larry Grenadier, bass; Brian Blade, drums

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