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Early recordings of Mark Turners Sound/Style

993 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jgreiner
Ive recently been heavily checking out Mark Turner, I just really love his approach on the horn and his style overall. Ive been watching interviews on youtube and he says that in the early days his main influence was Coltrane and that he was always transcribing him. I also saw this post on Seamus Blakes Instagram in which he is talking about Mark saying, "Mark was the living embodiment of Trane before he dissected apart Henderson and Warne marsh.... then he became mark turner" I am really interested in this because those who know of Mark turner's style he has now developed his own sound which is a lot more influenced by Warne Marsh. Did any of you know Turner personally or see him play early on to confirm this or do you know of any recordings of Mark in the earlier days? Thanks!
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I went to school with Mark. Even back then (late 80's) he had much of his own thing going on. I didn't play in too many ensembles with him, but obviously heard him plenty. I'd say his style was maybe more 'Trane-ish back then, but his sound was (again, to my memory) very much his own individual thing. Not having listened to a lot of Warne Marsh myself, I can't say if that was already an influence on him. Sorry. That probably doesn't help much but it's all I have. ;-)
Hey @jgreiner that probably means you were in school with a friend of mine, the great drummer Rob Avsharian! He was Mark's roommate at Berklee for a couple years. He's a fantastic Detroit/Ann Arbor session dude these days. We lived together for a little bit in Denton.

I studied a lot of Mark Turner for several years and he's been one of my big influences for a long time. He certainly is very much his own thing, built on the foundation of Coltrane and Warne Marsh. Considerable Joe Henderson influence makes sense too, although Mark's sound and approach are so clean and meticulous by comparison. I can hear a progression in his concept between his eponymous album leading to "In This World" and then really evolving by the time "Dharma Days" comes around, and then even further with the "Fly" trio. He's certainly developed his own thing in a beautiful way, very inspiring.

The earliest record I have of him is "Yam Yam," a Criss Cross (I think) record just before he got picked up by Warner Bros. He sounds great on it, as with everything, but it's a considerably different approach from what he does today, much more Trane-ish. But still with tons of his own personality, I think that's been in there the whole time he's recorded, it's just developed more and more prominently as time has gone on.
I knew of Rob, but never played (or hung) with him. Gotta say there were just SO many unfreakingbelieveable players when I was there. McCaslin, Blake, Cheek, Hart, of course Mark...... I could go on and on. Was a great time to be there and sometimes I wish I could go back and hang with some of the guys I just didn't get the chance to. Those 3 yrs for me went very fast, but will always be remembered.
Dude! I thought you were the Coltrane guy back at Berklee by far! Your sound, your lines, Trane all the way!!
Haha!! Steve, step away from the Bourbon bottle! ;-)

Funny thing was that I completely avoided playing alto for about 15 yrs. because I felt it messed with my tenor playing. I don't regret doing that and actually do feel it helped with my "quest" (that is still never ending), but now that I'm back to playing alto quite a bit now, I sometimes wonder if that decision was stupid. I remember getting done with classes at about 4:30, walking home, eating and then going back to the practice rooms until about 10 or 11 pm. Those times were also the greatest hangs. Do you remember Mike Sim, Andreas Riss and some of the other tenor players around at that time? Andreas was the guy who taught me a bunch of multiphonic fingerings (like 'Trane did on Harmonique, I'll Wait And Pray, etc) and Sim was also freakishly good. We all tried each others mouthpieces, traded some and for overall sax stupidity, it was the best of times. As I said before, I'd kinda like to go back and soak that all in again, but only if I knew then what I know now about life in general! ;-)
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