Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Mark Turner & Ethan Iverson: Temporary Kings (ECM)/Mikkel Ploug & Mark Turner: Faroe (Sunnyside)

Review of two duo albums featuring tenor saxophonist Turner

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Cover of Mark Turner/Ethan Iverson album Temporary Kings
Cover of Mark Turner/Ethan Iverson album Temporary Kings

Each of these two duet albums features tenor saxophonist Mark Turner working with someone with whom he normally plays in a quartet. In the case of Temporary Kings, that someone would be pianist Ethan Iverson, who works with Turner in drummer Billy Hart’s quartet; on Faroe, it’s Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, who invited the saxophonist into the Mikkel Ploug Group in 2005. In both cases, Turner’s distinctive sound is a key part of the music’s appeal, but how it fits in is quite different on each.

Temporary Kings, recorded in Lugano, Switzerland, is the more ethereal session, drawing on the austerely cerebral legacy of Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh as well as the intimate dynamics of chamber music. Hard-swinging it’s not, but neither does it sidestep jazz tradition. Instead, Iverson and Turner employ understatement, suggestion, and artful feints to transform the blues in “Unclaimed Freight” or boil a chord progression down to its essence, as with Marsh’s “Dixie’s Dilemma.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published