Called “one of the most productive and vital artists of the last dozen years” by The New York Times, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner is one of the most influential jazz artists on the international scene today. A quick survey of jam sessions around New York will reveal how dominant his distinctive instrumental voice has become, as hordes of tenor saxophonists continue to emulate his serpentine lines and impeccable altissimo-register intonation.
It has been noted by Mark Turner enthusiasts and critics alike that Mark hasn’t released a record under his own name in over a decade (the last was 2001’s Dharma Days), but there is something exciting in the pipeline: this past June, Mark recorded with his quartet for ECM, which will yield an album scheduled for release sometime next year. The quartet, which features trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Marcus Gilmore, performed a much-anticipated run at the Village Vanguard around the time of the ECM recording, and this same rhythm section will be joining Mark for two nights of trio performances this weekend. Here’s a live recording of the quartet performing in the Netherlands in 2012:
In terms of trio playing, Mark is probably best known for his work with FLY, which features Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums and is notably the same drum-bass duo of the Brad Mehldau Trio. FLY’s most recent release was 2012’s Year of the Snake (ECM). A live performance of the title track can be heard here:
Mark’s collaborations with Joe Martin and Marcus Gilmore extend beyond his quartet, however; he’s also appeared with Joe and Marcus in guitarist Gilad Hekselman’s band. Here they are playing “Understanding,” from Gilad’s Hearts Wide Open from 2011:
We’re pleased to have Mark return to our stage once again, and hope that you’ll join us for several sets of fearless, exploratory trio playing.
The Mark Turner Trio, which features Joe Martin on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums, performs at The Jazz Gallery this Friday and Saturday, November 22nd and 23rd. Sets are at 9:00 and 11:00 p.m., $20 general admission and $10 for members. Purchase tickets here.