2014 Top Ten Lists
• The Baltimore City Paper said, The jazz story of 2014 was the emergence of long-underrated saxophonist . After brilliant contributions to the Billy Hart Quartet, the cooperative trio Fly, and many others, Turner released his first solo album in 13 years in 2014. Lathe of Heaven recalls a younger Wayne Shorter in the inventiveness of its composition and high feeling of its playing. Turner also made contributions to splendid 2014 albums by Hart, Jochen Rueckert, and Stefano Bollani.
• In the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sam Lemos of the band Sportello said, Turner has such a unique sound and style, both compositionally and in his improvisations, and the musicians he assembled for this record couldn’t be better. It is an album of rare beauty, his first as a bandleader since 2001’s Dharma Days, and well worth the wait.
• In the San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin wrote, All shadowy beauty, this is the influential saxophonists first album in more than a decade. His quartet—with trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore—is remarkable. With its long, graceful, intertwining breaths and gestures, it seems to build elaborate structures in the sky; music of imagination.
• In the New York Times, both Nate Chinen and Ben Ratliff put Lathe of Heaven on their year-end lists; Chinen wrote, On his first proper album as a leader in 13 years, the tenor saxophonist Mark Turner favors slithery interplay with the trumpeter Avishai Cohen, and finds new purpose in post-bop protocols. There’s dry intrigue in his compositions, and supple exactitude in his rhythm team, while Ratliff wrote, The tenor saxophonist Mark Turner doesn’t rush anything. He’s in his late 40s now, with a new and piano-less group, and this is his best album, the strongest example of his articulate writing and his calm improvisational power.
• In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Calvin Wilson wrote, Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. With Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Joe Martin on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums, Turner came up with an album that took the piano-less quartet to fresh and fascinating places.
• In the Boston Globe, Jon Garelick wrote, Turner matched the soaring lyricism and beguiling unpredictability of his tenor saxophone lines with an equally alluring collection of original pieces that pushed the tension between composition and improvisation.
• Lathe of Heaven placed at #5 in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll; Francis Davis wrote, Saxophonist Mark Turners quartetis so airy that any chording instrument would have only gotten in the way. Turner first attracted attention in the late 90s for reconciling Coltranes harmonic involvement and lengthy improvised lines with a coolness more typified by Warne Marsh or Lee Konitz; Turners sound remains unmistakable. And if you still havent heard the gifted trumpeter Avishai Cohen, this is as good a place as any to start.