Mark Turner (musician)

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Mark Turner
Mark Turner 1.JPG
Background information
Born (1965-11-10) 10 November 1965 (age 49)
Fairborn, Ohio United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Saxophonist
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1990s-present
Labels Warner Bros., ECM
Associated acts Kurt Rosenwinkel, Aaron Goldberg, David Binney, Billy Hart, Gilad Hekselman, SFJAZZ Collective

Mark Turner (born November 10, 1965) is an American jazz saxophonist.

He is considered one of the most influential tenor saxophonists of his generation.[1]


Born in Fairborn, Ohio, and raised in the small Southern California town of Palos Verdes, Turner originally intended to become a commercial artist. In elementary school he played the clarinet, followed by the alto and tenor saxophones in high school. He attended California State University, Long Beach in the 1980s (playing in the jazz ensembles) and then transferred to and graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1990 before moving to New York. Turner worked at Tower Records in New York City for an extended period before working full-time as a jazz musician.[2] Turner performed extensively with pianist Brad Mehldau during the 1990s.

In early November 2008 Turner injured two fingers on one of his hands with a power saw, but as of late February 2009 he was performing again with the Edward Simon Quartet at the Village Vanguard.

In September 2014, Turner has released his first album as a leader since 2001 on ECM Records; it features trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

He is married to the psychiatrist and anthropologist, Dr. Helena Hansen.[3]

Style and influences[edit]

Turner's sound is reminiscent of that of Warne Marsh; he also has elements of John Coltrane in his playing. Turner has mentioned both Marsh and Coltrane as influences, and has used elements of both players' styles in his music.[4] Turner's range extends into the high altissimo register. His improvised lines tend to be harmonically and rhythmically convoluted while maintaining melodic coherence. His compositions often make use of repeated patterns, odd-metered time signatures, intervallic leaps, and a selective use of space.[5]

Musical associations[edit]

In addition to leading his own quartet with trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Marcus Gilmore,[6] Turner is also a member of the trio Fly, which features himself, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard.[7] Turner is a member of guitarist Gilad Hekselman's Quartet, and drummer Billy Hart's Quartet.[8] He has been featured extensively on records by guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, saxophonist David Binney, and pianist Aaron Goldberg, among others.[9]


Photos: Hreinn Gudlaugsson

Selected discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Yam Yam (Criss-Cross, 1995)[10]
  • The Music of Mercedes Rossy (Fresh Sound, 1998)[11]
  • Mark Turner (Warner Bros., 1998)
  • In This World (Warner Bros., 1998)
  • Two Tenor Ballads (Criss Cross, 2000)[12]
  • Ballad Session (Warner Bros., 2000)
  • Dharma Days (Warner Bros., 2001)
  • Lathe of Heaven (ECM, 2014)

Fly (band)

  • Fly (Savoy Jazz, 2004)
  • Sky & Country (ECM, 2009)
  • Year of the Snake (ECM, 2012)

As sideman[edit]

With Ryan Kisor

  • On the One (Columbia, 1993)

With Jonny King

  • In from the Cold (Criss Cross Jazz, 1994)

With Edward Simon

With Aaron Goldberg

  • Turning Point (J Curve, 1999)
  • Home (Sunnyside, 2007)

With Jon Gordon

  • Witness (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Along the Way (Criss Cross, 1997)
  • Possibilities (Double-Time, 2000)

With George Colligan

  • Newcomer (Steeplechase, 1997)
  • Unresolved (Fresh Sound New Talent, 1999)

With Seamus Blake

  • Four Track Mind (Criss Cross, 1997)

With Guillermo Klein

  • Minotauro (Candid, 1997)

With Chris Cheek

  • A Girl Named Joe (Fresh Sound New Talent, 1998)

With Lee Konitz

  • Paralells (Chesky, 2000)

With Joshua Redman

With Matthias Lupri

  • Same Time Twice (Summit, 2002)
  • Transition Sonic (Summit 2004)
  • After Hours (Summit, 2010)

With Kurt Rosenwinkel

  • The Enemies of Energy (Verve, 2000)
  • The Next Step (Verve, 2001)
  • Heartcore (Verve, 2003)
  • The Remedy (ArtistShare, 2009)

With OAM Trio

  • OAM Trio & Mark Turner Live in Sevilla (Lola!, 2002)
  • Now and Here (Nuba, 2009)

With Jaleel Shaw

  • Perspective (Fresh Sound, 2004)

With Omer Avital

  • Asking No Permission (Smalls, 2006)
  • The Ancient Art of Giving (Smalls, 2006)

With Billy Hart

With David Binney

  • Cities and Desire (Criss Cross, 2006)
  • Barefooted Town (Criss Cross, 2011)

With Mikkel Ploug

  • Mikkel Ploug Group (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2007)
  • Harmoniehof (New Talent, 2008)

With Ferenc Nemeth

  • Night Songs (2007)

With Baptiste Trotignon

With Enrico Rava

  • New York Days (ECM, 2009)

With Diego Barber

  • Calima (Sunnyside, 2009)

With Jochen Rueckert

  • Someone Meeting Nobody (Pirouet, 2011)
  • We Make the Rules (Whilrlwind 2014)

With Gilad Hekselman (2011-2013)

  • Hearts Wide Open
  • This Just In

With SF Jazz Collective (SFJAZZ, 2010-2011)

  • Music of Horace Silver
  • Music of Stevie Wonder

With Ben Van Gelder

  • Reprise (Pirouet 2013)

With Stefano Bollani

With Yelena Eckemoff featuring George Mraz, Joe Locke & Billy Hart

  • A Touch of Radiance (L & H Production, 2014)

With Tom Harrell

  • The Trip (Highnote 2014)


  1. ^ Jarenwattananon, Patrick. "Mark Turner Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard". Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mark Turner Biography". All Music. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Leonard, Devin (June 26, 2009). "Mark Turner Escapes the Shadow of John Coltrane". New York Observer. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Jazz Weekly magazine interview by Fred Jung". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Winters, Kelly. "Mark Turner". musicianguide. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Chinen, Nate. "Follow the Leader; He’s Deep in the Pack Mark Turner Quartet at the Village Vanguard". New York Times. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Collar, Matt. "Fly". All Music. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Jurek, Thom. "All Our Reasons". All Music. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mark Turner". All Music. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Yam Yam". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Two Tenor Ballads". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 


  • In This World @
  • Dharma Days @
  • Ballad Session @
  • G. Giddins: “Turner Classic Moves,” VV (14 April 1998), 118
  • G. M. Stern: “Airtime: Mark Turner: You Don’t Have to be Twenty Years Old to Succeed,” Windplayer, no.58 (1998), 10
  • "Saxophonist Mark Turner's Stylistic Assimilation of Warne Marsh and the Tristano School," Master's Thesis by Jimmy Emerzian, California State University, Long Beach, 2008.

External links[edit]