Fly: Sky & Country


Sky & Country




Sky & Country (ECM B0012669-02)

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Mark Turner (tenor & soprano saxes), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jeff Ballard (drums).

Composed by Jeff Ballard


Recorded: New York, February 28-29, 2008


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

The jazz trio Fly considers itself to have three co-leaders. You've heard of group think? This is group-think music. Much of "Sky and Country" is a study in the subdued. Saxophonist Mark Turner and bassist Larry Grenadier play several melody lines in unison as drummer Jeff Ballard plays a jam-band beat almost as slowly as you can. "Sky and Country" is about the vastness of open space. Turner amps it up a bit to fill some of that space, but never strays too close to the ground or too high in the air. There is a steadiness to the task. The band creates a slow groove, but doesn't fall in love with it. This is a thinking person's music. The degree of effort you put into listening will determine your reward.

Later in the year of this recording, saxophonist Mark Turner had a terrible accident in which he badly damaged two of his fingers while using a power saw. Prognoses varied from bad to somewhat OK. But even the best case scenario suggested that after major surgery, Turner would require about 8 months even to hope to play again. He was at in half that time. He has to relearn his fingering touch because of nerve damage to his index and middle fingers. But he is back playing publicly, showing great fortitude and love of the art.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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