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Dharma Days
     

Dharma Days

by Mark Turner
 
Mark Turner is a handsome young tenor player with a gentle smile whose assured style of playing and smooth, lush tone make his most harmonically sophisticated compositions seem on first hearing like familiar friends. Dharma Days consists entirely of originals, and Turner is assisted in their realization by three of the finest players in the business: Kurt

Overview

Mark Turner is a handsome young tenor player with a gentle smile whose assured style of playing and smooth, lush tone make his most harmonically sophisticated compositions seem on first hearing like familiar friends. Dharma Days consists entirely of originals, and Turner is assisted in their realization by three of the finest players in the business: Kurt Rosenwinkel on guitar, Reid Anderson on bass, and the always astonishing Nasheet Waits on drums. Turner’s writing throughout focuses on subtle chromatic shifts and complex harmonic relationships -- one gets the impression he needs that sort of underlying musical rigor to keep him interested -- but the music itself is plain lovely: comfortable, introspective, approachable. The opening number, “Iverson’s Odyssey,” is a knotty but likeable tune, bright and spirited, which soon eases into a comfortable groove for Turner’s musings. As always, he settles back into the low end of his horn, seldom venturing above the midrange -- the instinctive avoidance of mere show in favor of real musical communication is a trademark of Turner’s playing. Rosenwinkel’s solos, here and throughout the album, complement the mood nicely. His sound is cooler, the feeling a bit more distant, but always thoughtful and in touch with Turner’s compositions. Almost any piece on the album could arguably be called a ballad -- the mood on the whole is soft and mellow -- but “Myron’s World” is particularly sonorous, with a lovely opening solo and glistening rolled chords from Rosenwinkel over Turner’s horn. The title cut is yet another example of accessible sophistication and smooth, cool grace. This is an eminently successful outing for a young player of unusual elegance and subtlety.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After devoting his fourth album as a leader (Ballad Session) to standards, Mark Turner comes up with nine originals for his fifth, Dharma Days. But as on Ballad Session, which included everything from George Gershwin to Carla Bley, the tenor saxophonist is intent upon displaying the breadth of his taste. If the leadoff track, "Iverson's Odyssey," sounds like a fairly typical post-bop exploration, "Myron's World," with its lengthy unaccompanied introduction, suggests mid-period John Coltrane, while the concluding track, "Seven Points," is oddly disquieting and distinctly experimental. As usual, Dharma Days is a virtual duo album with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. The two musicians play together on their club dates, but each has a solo recording contract, Turner with Warner Bros. and Rosenwinkel with Verve, so they trade off nominal leadership of their group, depending on whose session it is. (The rhythm section here consists of bass player Reid Anderson and drummer Nasheet Waits.) But the heart of both musicians' music is their interplay, which depends on a contrast between Turner's long, relaxed lines and Rosenwinkel's fast, anxious fretwork. When they are soloing together, as on "Deserted Floor" here, there is a fascinating musical conversation going on.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/08/2001
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624799825
catalogNumber:
47998

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