On DHARMA DAYS, saxophonist Mark Turner’s 5th release, he again shows himself to be an original voice on tenor. The first thing that struck me was how much the group reminds me of Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band. On the opening track, "Iverson’s Odyssey," the unison tenor and guitar runs over a solid bass and angular drumming is straight out of Motian’s book. It’s no surprise, as guitarist Rosenwinkel is a long time member of the Electric Bebop Band. He is a formidable player with an immediately recognizable sound. His guitar and Turner’s sax blend well together. Turner blows a strong and melodic solo over the rhythm section as they twist and turn behind him.
Drummer Nasheet Waits is the son of the late master drummer, Frederick Waits. Listening to him, you can hear his father’s legacy. He has that same relaxed swing that pushes the music forward, while at the same time dancing around the pulse. On "Jacky’s Place," his drumming weaves itself around the sax and guitar. He is crisp and driving without being over powering.
On "Zurich," the sax and guitar play a slow, ringing set of changes over a funky bass and drums. The effect creates a great deal of tension in the music. Bassist Reid Anderson is solid throughout. On the beautiful "Deserted Floor," he coaxes the music along, blending into the band’s sound, allowing the other three musicians to take off and run with the melody and rhythm.
This is a marvelous recording, recommended to anyone looking for solid, modern quartet jazz.