I just had the pleasure of seeing Mark Turner, Jason Palmer, Joe Martin, and Marcus Gilmore at the University of New Hampshire on recently. I hadn’t seen Mark play for years and it was amazing to hear him.
A few thoughts about the show which was comprised completely of Mark’s original material.
1) This guy knows how to write for a chord-less band. It struck me how involved the melodies were. The majority of them had 32 or 64 bars of written material at the beginning, some combination of solos/trading/group soloing, another section of different written material, and then more solos or drum solo followed by the written material on the way out.
Playing in a chord-less format is one of my favorite things to do, but I find it can get boring when it is just melody, solos, melody. Mark opened my eyes to an inspiring version of a group like this, I didn’t find my mind wandering at all for the entire show.
2) If I played trumpet I would want to be Jason Palmer. Side note, he has come up to our neck of the woods many times to collaborate with musicians and is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He is extremely easy to talk to and is very supportive. Good guy and monster player.
3) Being somewhat of a drummer myself, Marcus Gilmore was a thrill to see. So musical and complimentary to the musicians around him.
4) I need to seriously get deeper into triad pairs. Mark’s harmonic playing is some of the craziest shit I have ever heard. I consider myself to be a very vertical player and this was what drew me to Mark’s playing in the first place, but seriously, he just keeps getting better and better.
5) Mark seems like one of the deepest human beings around. When he is on stage it is like nothing exists besides his band and whatever he is trying to say through his horn. Very inspiring.
All in all, it was a great show and I’m already seeing some of the effects of that music on my practice routine.