Arts

Album Review | JAZZ

Mark Turner Quartet, ‘Lathe of Heaven’

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Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, 48, has earned recognition for the purity of his tone, from the bottom of his horn to the highest altissimo, and a taste for sweeping chromatic lines that beguile with their lyrical invention and unpredictability. Lately he has been working mostly as the sole front-line instrument in bands like Fly and the Billy Hart Quartet, so it’s good to hear him here weaving lines with the fine trumpeter Avishai Cohen. Turner’s carefully designed tunes tend to comprise allusive, episodic narratives, and the lack of a chording instrument like piano or guitar enhances their appealing harmonic ambiguity. Turner and Cohen step in and out of tempo, in tight lines or loose counterpoint, breaking for easeful, eloquent solos. If that all sounds heady, be aware that “Sonnet for Stevie” is a blues, and it’s for Stevie Wonder. (Out Tuesday)

JON GARELICK

ESSENTIAL “Sonnet for Stevie”

The Mark Turner Quartet plays the Regattabar on Sept. 16.

Jon Garelick can be reached at jon.garelick4@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @jgarelick.
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