Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mark Turner Lathe of Heaven ECM 2014

Mark Turner has played with numerous and highly respected ensembles, this may be his finest!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
This is one release that quietly runs under the radar but that is fitting with the overall sound that Lathe of Heaven creates. Nothing ostentatious or over the top but melodic and at times highly emotive in presentation with an all star cast of harmonic co-conspirators.
ECM has a massive following yet for some there is a preconceived notion that the music may run far too deep and a degree in theory might be necessary to simply "get it" but not here. A pianoless 4tet moving an ambient vibe of lyrical bliss through some slower passed numbers allowing for a cerebral exploratory of sound. A nuanced texture of elegance and deceptively subtle simplicity featuring Turner and trumpet phenom Avishai Cohen. The rhythm section is stellar with Joe Martin and Marcus Gilmore on bass and drums respectively. The tunes are lengthy but never bordering on pretentious but are instead ambient presentations of melodic possibilities. Meters change on the fly while dynamics are solid and firmly ground as "listening" to each other seems to be the glue that allows the release to triumph.
Mark Turner's first release as a leader in over a decade is deserving of far wider attention than simply the ECM faithful. Flawless.
Track Listings
1. Lathe of Heaven
2. Year of the Rabbit
3. Ethans Line
4. The Edenist
5. Sonnet for Stevie
6. Brother Sister