One of the greatest things about jazz is how two artists, with their individual styles and backgrounds, can collaborate.  What comes out can be remarkable. Jazz is a language that can be progressed, built upon and pushed forward. Collaborations can change the feel of music and affect space and time.  When that happens it is obvious as in the case of the album “Temporary Kings.”

Jazz Pianist Ethan Iverson and saxophonist Mark Turner come together to create an incredibly distinct and cerebral jazz that album shows both masters at work.  The album “Temporary Kings”, is elegant and brings the growing field of chamber jazz to the front of the jazz music scene. Iverson, from the renowned jazz piano trio Bad Plus, came to the project after many successful solo recordings and blogging extensively about jazz and music.  The album is his first release with jazz saxophonist Mark Turner. Turner and Iverson first met in the early 90’s New York City jazz scene. Those early jam sessions cemented the artists’ respect for each other. From that point forward the artists worked together most notably in the Billy Hart Quartet and have written for each other on different recording projects.  

On “Temporary Kings,” Ethan Iverson and Mark Turner are able to construct a mix of progressive smooth style and Cool School influences that can be heard throughout the album.  The album consists of 9 tracks that showcase the artists’ depth of knowledge and artistry. Iverson wrote six of the tracks while Turner wrote two on this album. The last track is a cover of Marsh’s “Dixie Dilemma” that both musicians felt was a great addition to giving the album its vibe.  Each production is a solid step progressing the art form forward. The musicians interact with each other dynamically pulling the listener in unmistakably strong directions. Turner’s saxophone creates an elegant contrast to Iverson’s impactful piano style and drive. Iverson says the album’s name refers to their amazing experience recording the album: “We were momentary royalty or something in this lovely environment before we came back to reality and back to Brooklyn where Mark takes his kids to school and I play for dance classes.”

Iverson and Turner are both amazing musicians and “Temporary Kings” is a great example of chamber jazz and the direction it is going.  This album is the definition of cool and will continue to find an audience because of the skill and proficiency of the artists. The duo has tour dates planned for select cities.

Article Written By Michael Brigger

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