Mark Turner: Late Lament
Mark Turner (tenor sax)
Ballad Session (Warner 47631-2)
Composed by Paul Desmond.
Recorded: New York City, Oct. 4-5, 1999
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
When Mark Turner did his obligatory Ballad Session for Warner Brothers in 1999, another of his influences—in addition to the already acknowledged Warne Marsh—may have become apparent for the first time, namely Paul Desmond. Certainly a hint was given by Turner's recording of Desmond's exquisite "Late Lament." Desmond had played this ballad on one of his early '60's RCA Victor albums (Desmond Blue), most of which featured a pianoless quartet with guitarist Jim Hall. Turner's instrumentation here is the same, with his former Berklee classmate and future frequent collaborator, Kurt Rosenwinkel, on guitar.
Turner's pure, wistful tone and delicately spun, wafting arpeggios enhance his recital of the poignant theme. Rosenwinkel's soft chords and adorning textures at key dramatic points are totally in sync with Turner's tenor. The leader's solo has an understated intensity, his uncluttered lines flowing gracefully, artfully varied by speed of execution and through subtly dissonant overtones. Rosenwinkel's improv engagingly follows the contours of the melody by utilizing reverberating chord structures, strummed passages, and ringing grace notes. Turner's reprise affirms the beauty of both the composition and his own conception, right up to the concluding well-conceived vamp.
Reviewer: Scott Albin
Tags: 1990s jazz