Mark Turner (musician)

Mark Turner (musician)
Mark Turner
Background information
Born 10 November 1965 (1965-11-10) (age 45)
Fairborn, Ohio
United States
Genres Jazz
Occupations Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Saxophone, Clarinet
Labels Warner Bros., Fresh Sound, ECM
Associated acts Dave Holland Big Band, Gary Foster, Edward Simon

Mark Turner (born November 10, 1965) is a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist with several recordings to his credit.


Biographical information

Born in Fairborn, Ohio, and raised in Southern California, 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 graduated 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.[citation needed]

In early November 2008 Turner injured two fingers on one of his hands with a power saw, but as of late February 2009 (after a rapid recovery of four months) was performing again with the Edward Simon Quartet at the Village Vanguard.[citation needed]

Style and influences

Mark Turner at Baku Jazz Festival 2007

Mark Turner's sound is reminiscent of that of Warne Marsh, in that he often produces a somewhat dry, woody tone. 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 without resorting to mimicry.[1] Turner's range extends seamlessly into the high altissimo register.[citation needed] His improvised lines tend to be harmonically and rhythmically convoluted while maintaining melodic coherence.[citation needed] His compositions often make use of repeated patterns, odd-metered time signatures, intervallic leaps, and a selective use of space.

Musical Associations

Mark Turner has regularly collaborated with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Larry Grenadier, and Jeff Ballard, and has formed various collectives that include these musicians (M.T.B. and prominently, FLY).[citation needed] He has also played with the influential Dave Holland Big Band. In 2003 Turner collaborated with alto saxophonist Gary Foster in a special concert billed as "Mark Turner and Friends".[2]


As leader

  • Yam Yam (Criss-Cross, 1995) [1]
  • The Music of Mercedes Rossy (Fresh Sound, 1998) [2]
  • Mark Turner (Warner Bros., 1998)
  • In This World (Warner Bros., 1998)
  • Two Tenor Ballads (Criss Cross, 2000) [3]
  • Ballad Session (Warner Bros., 2000)
  • Dharma Days (Warner Bros., 2001)

Fly (band)

  • Fly (2004), Savoy Jazz
  • Sky & Country (2009), ECM Records

As sideman

With Jaleel Shaw

  • Perspective (Fresh Sound)

With Billy Hart

  • Quartet (High Note)

With Jonny King

With Kurt Rosenwinkel

With OAM trio

  • OAM trio & Mark Turner Live in Sevilla (LOLA! Records)

With Enrico Rava

With Mikkel Ploug Group

  • Harmoniehof
  • Mikkel Ploug Group

With Gilad Hekselman

  • Hearts Wide Open


  • Interview with Mark Turner, by Fred Jung [4]
  • Grove Dictionary of Music entry by Gary Kennedy (, accessed 3/14/07)
  • "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.



  • In This World [5]
  • Dharma Days [6]
  • Ballad Session [7]

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

External links

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