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June 2004

Mark-Anthony Turnage/John Scofield
Scorched
Deutsche Grammophon

From the artists involved to the name of the CD, Scorched (Deutsche Grammo-phon) proves that the ultimate in fusion has been undertaken-not necessarily achieved, but certainly attempted. John Scofield, on guitar, aided by electric bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Peter Erskine collaborate with Mark-Anthony Turnage, a 44-year-old British maverick who's a product of the Royal College of Music and composer of three operas that have sailed down the Third Stream with Gunther Schuller and who idolizes Miles Davis. Turnage is also comfortable orchestrating for huge symphonic ensembles like the Radio Sinfonie Orchester Frankfurt.

Turnage coined the CD title from SCofield ORCHestratED, and Scorched is a collection of 14 Scofield melodic nuclei that Turnage expanded on a symphonic scale, often allowing the guitarist and/or trio the equivalent of "stretch-out room," as on "Make Me 2." Other times, as in "Kubrick," it's the orchestra's turn. The fusion is not always successful. Sure, when Turnage provides Scofield with a lush background the result is beautiful, but that's no big deal.

Originally published in June 2004
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