A few months ago I had an experience that starkly demonstrated how important Mr. Turner is among younger musicians. While reporting on the Thelonious Monk Institute saxophone competition in Washington an annual contest that has become something like the Van Cliburn competition of jazz I heard 15 young players. As expected, most of them drew much of their sound from one source: John Coltrane. There was no mistaking that gruff, keening tone, those scale-based patterns. But to my surprise, the second most prevalent sound among the 15 was very different. It was lighter, more evenly produced from the bottom to the very top of the horn, in long, chromatic strokes. At first I thought it was the sound of Warne Marsh. But there was no reason to think that Marsh, who died in 1987 and was always a minority taste, had suddenly become au courant. Then I realized that it was the sound of Mark Turner.
– Ben Ratliff, the New York Times
I think Mark Turner is one of the most important players that has come along in the last 20 years, easily the most influential. He never seems to have any doubt about what hes doing.
– Ravi Coltrane (from his Before & After listening session, Jazz Times)
His music is the freshest thing around. I want to write like that. Its out music that still sounds very musical and consonant.
– Luciana Souza, singer and composer
I went and practiced with him once. He showed me these music books of things he writes out; just in one book of 36 pages he had tons of different chords and exercises. Because of the purity of his approach, he influences a lot of different people in that way either like me, who does freer stuff, or someone else, who does straight-ahead music: it doesnt matter.
– Bill McHenry, Musician