Mark Turner Quartet | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tue., Sept. 23, 7:30 & 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $20, $15 in advance
For the past two decades or so, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner has been one of the most thoughtful and self-possessed musicians in jazz, balancing technical rigor with restrained emotion. When he emerged in the 90s, his playing showed the influence of Warne Marsh, from whom he’d absorbed harmonic curiosity and a predilection for engaging in conversational simultaneous improvisations with other horn players. Since 2000 he’s worked in the collective trio Fly with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, and since 2003 his lovely, striated tone has served as the ruminative melodic voice of the Billy Hart Quartet. But it’s great to have him back as a leader on the new Lathe of Heaven (ECM), a pianoless quartet album named for Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1971 sci-fi novel. He’s joined on the front line by remarkable Israeli trumpeter Avishai Cohen—who likewise works without a chordal instrument in his trio Triveni—and the pair demonstrate a preternatural bond, playing Turner’s elegant, serpentine themes in unison and slaloming alongside each other in long passages of yin-yang improvisation. Turner’s compositions are melodic but measured—he prefers a simmer to a boil. Luckily, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore (best known from the Vijay Iyer Trio) provide plenty of friction and spark, pushing against the supple arrangements. This is the group’s Chicago debut; drummer Justin Brown, a regular collaborator of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, will sub for Gilmore. —Peter Margasak Early show is all ages, late show is 18+.
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