Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner records often, as member of the trio Fly or as a sideman. But his new album, Lathe of Heaven, is his first under his own name in over a decade. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Turner’s a thinking person’s improviser.
"Mark Turner’s “Lathe of Heaven” takes its title from Ursula K. LeGuin’s novel where the nature of reality keeps shifting. Turner says he thinks of this music as unfolding like a narrative, and you can hear the parallels. The music doesn’t give up its secrets too fast, as he parcels out his themes and sub-themes, establishing mood through the slow accumulation of details. His slinky melodies map out the terrain, foreshadowing the improvised action and interaction. That lets Mark Turner get a novelistic unity of effect. His clean plotting makes a cooler brand of jazz cool all over again."
Photo: Brian Harkin for the New York Times