A feature by Kevin Sun
“He’s really unafraid to fail,” Ethan Iverson says. “Career shit, making the tune work—none of that matters; he just sees it as an epic cycle, and that’s why he’s Mark Turner. That’s why he gets to these great heights, because he has this other kind of warrior in him for whom failure is just another pleasant way to pass the time, you know?” Saxophone playing, just like anything else, has its fads, but Turner seems stylistically to have planted his feet firmly and pointing slightly inward since he moved to New York. As Turner himself points out, deciding what to practice is not just a day-to-day affair, but part of a lifelong commitment toward realizing an artistic self. “A lot of that in particular is just gradually clarifying your aesthetic and trying to figure out what you need to do to reach that aesthetic,” he says. “Otherwise, you can be practicing for millennia! I mean, you can practice one or two things for hours and hours and hours, twenty-four hours a day until you die. You have to decide on something.”
A feature by Kevin Sun
“Mark’s very lyrical, and that’s one of the things that moves me. A lot of students now can get around their instruments, but I don’t hear the lyricism. Now, you think about something like if I had to replace Mark,” says Billy Hart. “Of course, I had to deal with some possibilities, but there was nobody I could say, ‘Okay’ [snaps fingers]. Nobody. So then, for the first time, I had to think about it like when Miles had to replace Coltrane.”
A feature by Jesse Ruddock
Avishai Cohen has been working since he was ten, when his job was to stand on a soap box and play trumpet for a big band. Raised in Tel-Aviv, the youngest of three jazz prodigies in one house, his music is persistently lyrical, often sublime, and intensely playful. Cohen stands out on stage in a way that’s athletic: his lead’s to follow. What the body has to do with the soul can be heard in the tone of his trumpet, that strange precise math of breath and spirit. On Dark Nights, the third and latest album from his trio Triveni—with Omer Avital on bass and drums by Nasheet Waits—Cohen’s tone is clearer than any voice. The songs all go slow but never keep you waiting to find out what they’re trying to mean. This interview took place high above Broadway Avenue in Manhattan, one afternoon before Cohen played three sets through midnight with the Mark Turner Quartet . . .